“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Yesterday, I saw rare sight these days – a plane flying overhead. It was probably a cargo plane, but still, it had me thinking about flying. I’ve heard those safety instructions before takeoff so many times, I could probably stand up and do the demo if they needed a stand-in! They tell us that in the ‘unlikely event’ that a loss of cabin pressure happens, an oxygen mask will automatically appear. If traveling with a person who needs assistance, or a child, you are to put on your own mask first and then help the other person. Of course that makes sense – if you don’t have enough oxygen, you’ll pass out before you can help anybody else!
The Bible is full of teachings about loving and serving others, but these things are the overflow of a healthy life rooted in God. Jesus set an example for us in this – He often went off by Himself to pray, to rest, to recover His strength.
All too often, we try to keep going, pouring ourselves out, into family, work, our friends, sometimes strangers until we’re ‘running on empty.’ Rest is vital for restoring our bodies and souls.
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31 NIV).
God has given us the precious gift of rest.
It’s a gift for the strong; the mature, resting a not sign that a person is weak or failing, but the opposite.
Rest is a person – The Person, Jesus Christ. We find our Sabbath rest in Him – in His presence, when we get away with Him. It isn’t lying in the sofa binge-watching box sets on tv. It’s taking prayerful walks, or sitting out in the garden talking with Him, or even talking to Him while you’re gardening.
The Lord has a steady supply of “oxygen” for His people. Will you grab yours with both hands today?
When God created the world, He included a Sabbath for us, and He still wants to renew our hearts as we rest in Him.