I stared at the jar of peanut butter and the bare slices of bread and thought, I just can’t do it. To make lunch seemed to require more energy than I had at that moment. I was more than tired. It wasn’t a simple lack of sleep. I was weary – in body, mind and soul.
I’m sure you have been there. Maybe, you are there now.
Life is so difficult, y’all. It sure can cause a gal to grow weary. The Lord knew this to be true.
Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28
Weary and burdened. I’m sure you know all about some burdens.
Lost loved ones?
Anyone? Yeah, me too. Here’s the thing. The Lord doesn’t say, “Come to me and I will fix the problem at hand.” Now, he may very well fix it. That, however, is not our immediate need. We may think it is but He knows better. This world is broken and we will always have trials and temptations. Jesus knows that we need rest more than we need a quick fix.
The Greek word translated “rest” in this verse is anapauō. (I’ll try to refrain from the corny “it’s all Greek to me” joke. The pronunciation, however, is ä-nä-pau-’ō.) It’s really a great word with a great definition.
to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labour in order to recover and collect his strength
We don’t give ourselves permission to stop. We know there is always another load of laundry that could be done. There are those pesky cobwebs hanging from the ceiling and fingerprints on the windows. There is always something that needs to be done. So, why does the Lord insist that we come to Him for rest? He wants to give us the permission that we will not give ourselves – permission to just stop for a moment.
You have permission to watch cartoons with your kids this morning.
You have permission to sit on the porch and drink your coffee.
You have permission to turn on the radio and dance in the kitchen.
You have permission to laugh.
You have permission to breathe.
You have permission to recover from whatever has been weighing you down.
You have permission to regain your strength.
The Lord gives you that permission that you have been denying yourself.
And that work that you still have left to do? It will still be there tomorrow.
Stacy Edwards (@sjedwards) is a trucker’s daughter and a pastor’s wife. She is a freelance writer and a homeschooling mom to four fabulous little girls. Stacy blogs at Servant’s Life where she uses her words to point others to the hope and encouragement found in Christ. If you need her, she’s probably hiding in the bathroom.