The Gift of Rest

‘I will give you rest.’ I kept hearing that over and over while I was laying in the hospital bed. That promise that Jesus spoke in Matthew 11:28 was the verse that God whispered to me at the beginning of this year when I learned that my word for this year was going to be ‘REST’. He’s been teaching me a lot about rest this year but this particular lesson has been a difficult one for me.

More sick than I’ve ever been in my life, I found myself unable to focus on anything but the fight to survive. Prayers were short but frequent. Different Bible verses that have been embedded in my memory would come to my mind and became part of my ongoing conversations with God. Thank You Lord that Your name is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and are safe. Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I look up to the mountains – does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of the heavens and the earth.

And this one…Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened…and I will give you rest. Weary? Definitely. Heavy burdened? Absolutely! And the exchange Jesus offers? To bring it all to Him for the gift … of rest. Rest doesn’t always feel like a gift. But when you find yourself so weary you can hardly move, carrying so much you can hardly think straight, rest is a most beautiful gift.

And rest doesn’t come unaccompanied. Rest comes with peace, with healing, with the companionship of Christ. And so much more. Rest for your soul brings wholeness and that is something Jesus longs to give us.

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