“I will give you rest.”
How many people can say that? I will give you rest.
Do we need rest? Of course! Especially in this world.
But do we always find it? No.
Can you or I give it? No… not likely.
Sometimes we can have a calming affect on people and likewise they on us.
But no one can give rest. Except one man.
Jesus. And in more than one way.
I know, I know, you’re thinking… why does this guy so often write about Jesus?
Well, Jesus changed my life.
I was not a person of rest. Nor a person of peace. Nor a person who cared for others. I was always bent towards myself and my way of doing things. Always in a rush and had very little time or patience for others.
All this changed when Jesus got ahold of me. He cut me to the core and revealed in me so many ways of unrest, and how I was careless with people in my restlessness, often with those who were closest to me. And ignoring Him all the while.
We do this…this careless thing with people. We get so caught up in our own agenda that we forget about those around us. Sometimes in subtle ways… other times in blatant ways not caring who’s affected or who is looking on.
Criticising, condemning, complaining about everything and everyone. Grumbling and tearing people down. With words and actions…squashing people.
That was me. Restless. Reckless.
I hesitate pointing fingers at others, (even politicians) because I’m still only one bad move away from my next screw up, my next careless word or action. I need Jesus upholding me daily.
Jesus stepped into my life and began revealing to me the path of destruction I was on. And…like the old prophet Nathan (maybe you know the story) holding out his finger, indicated to me, “You are the man!” Guilty!
A guilty man of restlessness and carelessness. And of living without Him.
And He began revealing to me His love, His grace, and His compassion all the while working change in me. Sometimes painful change. He revealed to me how He had paid for my foolishness, my recklessness, and my sins at the cross of Calvary.
He stuck with me. Calming me down. Bringing me from restlessness to rest.
Bringing me from death to life. And showing me that if He worked His love, grace, and truth in my life, these in turn, should be evident in my life and flow into the lives of others.
Do we need this kind of rest?
This is rest for the soul.
It is this rest that affects everything. Our relationships, our work, our wellbeing, our sleep, our all.
Soul rest that Jesus enables leads to better physical rest, which, if you are like me, when we’re up on sleep, everything seems to work just a little bit better. What a connection… laying our guilt on His shoulders in repentance, and accepting His work in us, relieves stress, and physical rest improves. He works in us, we benefit in rest — in body and soul.
I wish I could say I have a full command over things like grace and patience in my life, or that I’ve eliminated criticizing, condemning, and complaining. Not quite.
It’s transformation. I’m a work in progress. Maybe you too. I’m not where I was…but I’ve grown in relationship with Jesus and others…and I’m on track with who He is making me to be. And I am learning how to rest in Him by placing my failures on Him. Daily.
There’s a sweet ‘becoming’ everyday. Becoming a little less like me and a little more like Jesus.
And so I’ve learned much from Him and about Him by reading a book He gave to us. The Bible.
And that’s where grace and truth like this comes from, from Jesus Himself:
“Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
Rest for the soul, giving way to rest for the body… looking towards a bright future of eternal rest. Where everything reckless, restless, and laiden with the sin and the unrest of this world will be gone.
So think about this… a significant shift. We often think we work and then rest. But get this…
What if we started realizing we can work from our rest.
From resting in Jesus, who gives rest, and then working, acting, from that. Actions bathed in love towards those around us.
John, one of the disciples of Jesus who hung out with Him for at least 3 years, picks up on what this looks like…
“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us.”
1 John 3:18, 19
Love showing up in action and in truth. Flowing from hearts at rest in His presence because He has lifted our condemnation.
We act in love, out of the rest we have in Jesus and by acting in love towards others, confirm that we are a continuous transforming work of His. And if our hearts are condemned, they’re set free in His forgiveness and renewing power in us to carry on in love. A cyclical pattern of rest and peace in a world fraught with unrest and little peace. It really is amazing.
Grace in its sweetest form. When we fall, He picks us right up again. When we stumble and fall in fatigue, Jesus rejuvenates us, breathing new life and peace and love into us, to in turn share with others.
Restful and refreshing.
Do you see the need rest? A deep soul cleansing rest?
Experience it the Jesus way. For your soul, for your body, and into your eternity.
And work from that amazing rest available to us only in Jesus.
He did say, “Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
He is the only One who can give it.
And that is why this guy often writes about Jesus.