how to take a real rest.

photo by jurek d.

Are you tired?

Worn out?

Burned out on religion?

Come to Me.

Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life.

I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with Me and work with Me — watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

–Jesus (Matthews 11:28-30, The Message)


Sometimes my entire life feels heavy and ill-fitting, and I groan under the weight of my unbelief.  Because that’s what it is — feeling that my life is heavy and ill-fitting is the opposite of believing that God in His sovereignty has removed my real burden and placed me where I am right at this moment in time and space, and that’s unbelief.

I’m really tired of feeling this way.

Today at church, Roger, a pastor at a sister church of our church, preached, and he said that when Paul writes in the beginning of his letters, “Grace and peace to you –” he is saying that God is moving towards us with grace with the intention of making us whole, complete, full.

And I’m going to be honest and say that I am having a hard time believing that.

I do believe it on some level, but a long time ago I believed it in a way that spilled out into how I lived my life, but now I don’t think I do. It was like I felt that the Lord loved me, and that made all the difference in the world.

Should it? Should my experience of the love of God affect how my day-to-day life is lived? I know He loves me, even if I don’t always feel loved, but boy, it helps to feel that love of God being poured into my heart by the Holy Spirit, you know? Is this what George Mueller meant when he said that:

“…the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord, or how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. For I might seek to set the truth before the unconverted, I might seek to benefit believers, I might seek to relieve the distressed, I might in other ways seek to behave myself as it becomes a child of God in this world; and yet, not being happy in the Lord, and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, all this might not be attended to in a right spirit.”

Is the reason my life feels ill-fitting and heavy because it is ill-fitting and heavy when certain things are not being carried in the right way? They rub and chafe because they aren’t where they are supposed to be, as if I was wearing pants on my arms and a shirt as pants and a sock on my head.

What things in my life are in the wrong place?

What was it in my life, what patterns have I fallen into that have deadened my soul and my affections for the Lord?

What do I need to do now to get myself happy in the Lord?

I think I need to stop checking Facebook every 4.5 seconds or so. And my email. And my blog. And Twitter. And Google reader. Less computer time all around.

I think I need to get up and spend time with the Lord in the morning, which means I need to go to bed at a decent hour.

I think I need to go outside every day for a little while and take a walk, even if it is kind of cold still.

I need to sing songs, even if I can’t sing.

I need to get away with the Lord, and I’ll recover my life. I miss living.


One response to “how to take a real rest.

  1. Roger gave a sermon once about Pace and Place.
    We are not always in the “Place” we want nor are we always happy with the “Pace” of events as they unfold. But it is God’s Pace and Place that really matter. Stepping out for a walk and redirecting our pace helps understand that the place is His place.
    Thanks Roger.

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