Living in the rest that Jesus lived.
"Come to me, all whose work is hard, whose load is heavy; and I will give you rest. Bend your necks to my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble-hearted; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is good to bear, my load is light." Matthew 11:28-30 NEB
One of the rich characteristics that we find in Jesus’s nature is that he lives a full and demanding life from a place of rest. We find him at rest on the bow of a boat in the midst of a storm. He is responsive but unruffled when asked to feed and care for five thousand men and their families after a long day of ministry. He seems to be at rest when he walks through a crowd that rose up to throw him over a cliff or when another angry group threatened to stone him. He found himself pressed by people in desperate of need of his ministry to them and often ministered to the needs generously. When confronting the demonic, Jesus was confident and unshaken. Jesus’s capacity to be at rest in demanding life situations give rise to two questions: How then could Jesus live such a challenging and responsible life and live his life at rest? and How can I find and live my life from a place of rest?
In answer to the first question, Jesus’s life is grounded in an ongoing relationship with the Father and Holy Spirit. He spent his days in ministry but we also see that he often gave late evenings and early mornings in communion with God. From this private communion we note that in describing his own life, Jesus said, “In truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he does only what he sees the Father doing: what the Father does, the Son does.” (John 5:19) Jesus’s rest comes from his relationship with the Father and knowing that he cannot labor by himself but in conjunction with fullness and grace of the Father. The Father is at rest, so is the Son.
To the second question, Jesus offers us that same rest he experiences in the times we become over burdened with responsibilities and cares of being good fathers and mothers or husbands and wives, or with being dutiful business owners or employees. Or when we encounter personal loss or illness or spiritual attack. Jesus invites us to come to him in the weariness of life and let him give us rest, his rest, the Father’s rest. He then offers to teach us how to live life from the same place of rest that he lived as a human by “taking his yoke and learning gentleness and humility,” by learning of him and the deep interior rest that is both God’s fullness and grace.
In this new year, we “who are weary and weighed down with cares,” ought to respond to Jesus’ invitation to come to him, let him give us rest, and then learn to cultivate and live from the same place of rest in relation with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Lord Jesus, I am exhausted from trying to manage and control my life. I am weighed down with daily cares and burdens. So, I accept now your invitation to give me your rest, a deep rest for my soul. I accept your invitation to be joined with you and learn your gentleness and humility, your relationship with the Father and Holy Spirit. Empower me to live today and tomorrow and next week from your own place of rest. Amen
Join us for an intentional weekend focused on learning how to live a lifestyle of Rest at Northlands Women’s Conference, Refresh 2017. Click here for more information.