By Carol Round – “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 (NIV).
Deafening fireworks, intense thunderstorms, a restless mind, and not enough sleep have all combined to sap me of energy this month. Although fireworks ended around July 6 where I live, thunderstorms have intensified in our area, leaving me tired because they’ve been striking at night while I’m trying to sleep.
My eight-year-old Chiweenie, Harley, has suffered, too. His restless nights, due to the loud cacophony of both noisemakers, have interrupted my sleep as well. Swaddling him in a vet-recommended anxiety jacket and dosing him with prescription medication hasn’t helped. After research, I recently began playing classical music, hoping it would help. It hasn’t.
His pacing and panting are relieved somewhat when we cuddle together in my recliner. But just as I manage to doze off again, a loud clap of thunder and a flash of lightning upsets him. He leaves the comfort of the recliner and my soothing presence to hide behind my chair and whine. It’s no wonder both of us are tired the next day and need rest.
The Need for Rest
Interrupted sleep is not the only thing that has affected me lately. I’ve been praying for guidance, asking Jesus to give me direction in my writing ministry. A book idea I’ve been musing over for the last five years has not yet come to fruition. I’ve made notes each time an idea sparks or a scripture speaks to me. However, each time I sit down to write, my creativity takes a nosedive. And that’s after I pray for the Holy Spirit to give me the right words. It’s something I pray for each time I write a blog post.
Several days before I began this post, I was struggling. The Holy Spirit was quiet. My mind was overloaded with ideas but nothing was settling in my spirit as a blog topic. I tried forcing the words, but they faltered and fell flat. I shut down my computer.
I prayed, asking God for His guidance, and then the Spirit spoke. While I’d been praying for inspiration and the words to write a blog post, the spirit reminded me of something. In my busyness, I’d overlooked the nudge I’d been given by God to answer another calling to use my gift of writing. Stepping out in faith, I’d returned to writing articles of inspiration for the local newspaper. In addition to writing blog posts, I’m writing about local ministries that help those in need.
When We Do Too Much
I always tend to take on too much. However, I had peace when I prayed about returning to newspaper writing. I knew my writing could lead others to find the assistance they needed in our area: a free health clinic reopening its doors, a free clothes ministry for all ages, a food and clothing ministry for babies and toddlers, a school supply drive assisting the less fortunate with the necessities for heading back to the classroom. And I’m not finished writing stories yet.
But I know that as Jesus taught us, we need rest. A gift from God, rest is sometimes elusive if we don’t make a choice to do so. While I can’t stop the thunderstorms from interrupting my sleep, I can choose to rest my soul in Him. I’ve brought my current stress and struggles to Him and I’ve decided to take the month of August off from writing for my blog. I’ll be back in September, renewed and refreshed in heart and soul.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, tired, and burned out, examine your choices. Pray about your circumstances. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you where you need to make changes, even if they’re only temporary. Once you’ve made the choice, a sense of peace like no other will permeate your spirit. You’ll find yourself resting in His Holy hands and ready for the next chapter.