“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Not only does Christ offer us rest, He is our rest and the reason we can rest. Christ is our shepherd leading us to green, grassy fields. (Ps. 23) Sheep, when led to pasture, will overeat until they bloat and die. Like sheep, we are bloated with worry, busyness, and striving. As sheep eat themselves to death, we work ourselves until we drop in exhaustion. Until we realize we are inadequate on our own, stop striving trying to be our own source, and find our security, identity, and provision in Christ’s sheepfold, we will labor in vain.
We rest when our minds, emotions, and bodies enter into a peaceful state of trusting God. When we realize the depth of God’s love and live like we are fully loved and adequately provided for by the shepherd’s care, concern, and oversight. Trusting God won’t eliminate conflict in our lives, but it reminds us that we are not alone or on our own when we face life challenges.
A chief robber of rest is worry because it is distrust in God. Thinking about a problem or concern over and over is worry. Although we are not able to prevent worrisome thoughts from hitting our mind, we have the ability to redirect our fears to a confident trust. Trusting God involves reminding ourselves that God is aware of our needs, committed to our constant care, and continually working His good in our lives. Recognizing these truths allows us to surrender control of situations to God. This releases us from the fear we experience when we try to control what is not ours to control.
Make a choice today to rest by choosing to trust in God. Formulate the plan that when worrisome thoughts come to mind, you will respond my redirecting your thoughts to God’s promises to provide for you. Instead of thinking about a problem over and over in your mind (that’s worry), redirect fearful thoughts to trust by meditating on God’s Word. In doing so, you move from fear to a restful state of trusting God.