REST FOR THE WEARY: LENT REFLECTION - DAY 6
As most of us know, it's a very busy world. Whether we work in the community we live in, travel long distances to work, or perhaps are still working from home despite COVID restrictions being lifted, life is busy. If you have young children and care for them at home, you'll know the busyness of that lifestyle too. For those who are retired, life may not be quite so busy, although some find that their time is filled with many things and people. However, too many people are alone and lonely, which is another burden they must carry every day.
Whatever lifestyle you find yourself living right now, there will be days when it seems all too much to bear. Whether you're unable to get out of your home and you count the hours until your next visitor, or whether you live with a lot of hustle and bustle, with a busy job, a growing family, or the pressures of the world, you may yearn for a different way of life.
During His 33 years on earth Jesus lived a life of purpose. He knew He had a limited time to teach His disciples how to live. He knew that He wouldn't be with them long, so He gathered them, lived with them, taught them, loved them, and urged them to share with everyone who would listen. Yet, Jesus never hurried, never rushed, never chivvied His disciples on to the next thing. He lived purposefully, but peacefully. He lived for the people He came to love and to save for the Father.
Perhaps you're feeling tired and worn out, weary beyond imagining. You may have extra pressure in your job, or you may have to travel a long distance for your work. Many people find the pressure of ever-increasing bills, or debt, or family problems a great worry. This all contributes to health problems, sleepless nights, anger, anxiety, and depression.
Jesus told His disciples that life would NOT be easy! The task He set before them of sharing the Gospel would bring persecution and even death for some of them. He assured them that even their families would not understand and would turn their backs on them. However, Jesus said, 'Stand up for me against world opinion and I'll stand up for you before my Father in heaven' (Matthew 10:32, MSG). He also told them, 'Don't think I've come to make life cozy. I've come to cut – make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law – cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies' (Matthew 10:35-36, MSG).
So what can we do? How can we live? Jesus gave us the secret in Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG): 'Are you tired? Worn 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.'
May we find God's rest in our weariness.