By Carol Round —
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”—Matthew 11:28 (NIV).
Rest. For some, it seems impossible. With too many commitments and responsibilities, rest seems like an unachievable goal.
Craving rest in a noisy world, some seek to escape. Seeking rest for their weary soul, some look for it in prestigious titles, extreme wealth, and expensive purchases to impress others.
But striving to gain these things never satisfies. Instead, in an effort to satisfy these cravings, disappointment, monotony, and fatigue overwhelms the soul. The load becomes oppressive.
Only Jesus Can Bring Satisfaction
Over 20 years ago, my life was turned upside down with the end of my 28-year marriage. I craved comfort, but nothing fulfilled that emptiness—not shopping, not relationships, nothing could fill that hole inside of me. I knew of God, but I didn’t have a personal relationship with Him.
One warm fall afternoon a few months after my divorce, I was struggling to finish a magazine article. Even though the subject of the story was something dear to my heart, the words wouldn’t flow. I’d never experienced writer’s block before, and my deadline was fast approaching.
Taking a break, I took a walk. Living in a lakeside community at the time, I wandered down to a picnic area where I could sit and watch the pelicans sunning themselves. While I’d attended church faithfully while growing up, I’d never prayed aloud. That day, I uttered a simple prayer, “God, help me, please. I’m so lost.”
Finding Peace in Jesus
As soon as I finished praying, peace enveloped my weary soul. It felt as if a backpack of rocks had been removed from my body. Finishing my walk through the neighborhood, I returned home to finish the magazine article.
In the 1994 movie, Forrest Gump, the main character, played by Tom Hanks, tells another character, “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” If you’ve ever received a box of chocolates with filled centers, you know that’s true. Until you take a bite or poke a hole to reveal the interior filling, you don’t know what you’re going to find.
Life is like that. We don’t know what the day holds for us when we arise each morning. Nor can we predict what tomorrow will bring. But we know the One who holds tomorrow.
When Tomorrow Comes
Recently, a dear friend of mine and I were discussing the health of one of her brothers. Tom’s been fighting advanced cancer for several months. For the most part, Clarice has been his main caregiver. Many are praying for his recovery, asking God for a healing miracle. The prognosis, however, is not good.
Physically and emotionally, Clarice is drained. I’ve been praying for Tom and my friend. Being a caregiver is exhausting. I’ve been encouraging my friend with uplifting scriptures. During a recent conversation, she said, “I have Jesus on speed dial.”
What if, instead of rushing through life, trying to make everything happen in our timing, we chose to rest in our Savior’s loving arms. And when we’re weary and burdened, we just need to press speed dial to connect to the One who loves us more than life itself. He’ll answer anytime. He’ll give you rest.