Posted on July 21, 2020 in General
Every morning, I try to avoid the news. I’m hoping to wait until my first cup of coffee, but often the anxiety about what is happening in our world gets to me while the coffee maker is still percolating. I scan the headlines, hoping there’s nothing new for me to see. I’m still processing yesterday’s news.
Most of my conversations with friends these days, start with small talk, move to the most recent headlines, and finish with a discussion about exhaustion. It seems like we all are feeling tired these days. Vacations and planned rests have been pushed back, canceled, or modified. Kids are restless. Work has invaded the home. We lost our rhythms and routines, and almost everyone I know is tired of this new normal.
Humans weren’t made live on adrenaline for months at a time. We have a deep need to disconnect from the constant stream of what’s happening in our world. The desire to disconnect is not a lack of compassion for what’s happening in our society; rather, it’s a desire to rest, regroup, replenish, and restart.
How can we avoid growing weary in doing good (Gal 6:9) in this season? How can we have the strength to love God, our families, and our neighbors during a season of exhaustion?
The words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30 offer us hope. Jesus says,
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Come to Jesus:
Take a moment to evaluate the things that are making you feel the most tired. Are you bringing those things to Jesus?
Jesus says, “Come to me…and I will give you rest.” I fail at this often. How often do I remain weary, because I fail to come to Jesus for his restorative rest to my soul?
Our Creator modeled this for us in the beginning. He worked for six days and rested on the seventh. God did not rest because he grew weary. Rather, he rested to show us that we too must cease from our labors. Yet, so many of us think that we can squeeze in extra work in any extra minutes we have.
God also commanded his people in the fourth commandment to,
“Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. In six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day shall be a Sabbath day to the Lord your God (Ex 20)…”
I’ve heard it said that taking a day for rest and worship is an act of faith. The world, our work, and our worries keep spinning, but God calls Christians to pause to worship and to trust that he is working when we are not. Do not neglect the rest and fulfillment you can through the rhythm of worship with your church (online or in-person) every Sunday.
As St. Augustine so beautifully put, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” Come to Jesus every day and for weekly worship. Abide in the rest that only God can provide.
Lay down your yoke and take up the yoke of Jesus:
A yoke is a large wooden beam strapped to an animal and attached to a plow. We are creatures who work, but whose yoke are you carrying on your back? Our yoke is heavy and exhausting. But Jesus’ yoke is “easy…light.”
God made us for work, but I believe this verse is a call to evaluate and prioritize our schedules. We are to evaluate what we are spending our time and energy on, and if these endeavors are eternal or things that pass away. Are the pressures we put on ourselves to be perfect or to achieve more an effort to build our kingdom or the Kingdom of God? It’s easy to get caught up in the pressures of life to stay busy. But if the things that are making us feel exhausted are not things of eternal significance, these may be things worth laying down.
Your time and energy is quite possibly the most valuable asset in your life. Taking up the yoke of Jesus is to do what God has called you to do for God’s glory. It is prioritizing eternal things, rather than reacting to busyness. Taking up the yoke of Jesus helps you decide what is truly worth your time and energy. Taking up the yoke of Christ means turning away from the temptation for your work to be your significance.
As Christian parents, we must fight not to live as a reaction to our circumstances, but as those who seek to honor God with our time and energy. We are called to model dependency in Christ, over self-reliance and constant work. We are God’s people, living in God’s love, resting in God, and using our time and energy for his glory.'
About the Writer
Kate is a pastor’s wife and a mom of three boys. She is one of our writers here at Kids Faith Krate and has years of experience in children’s ministries.