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Soul Rest

After returning recently from a prolonged holiday visiting family and friends, I suddenly felt overwhelmed at having to catch up with life back home. My “To Do” list was daunting and I became exhausted just looking at how my calendar quickly filled up. Even though much of it consisted of God-led work which I enjoy, I felt submerged in activity and burdened to the point of paralysis. I’m guessing you’ve been there too.

Yet God graciously demonstrates His gentle care for us in recognizing our human struggles. He provides in His Word a blueprint of what to do when we’re experiencing overwhelming stress:

“Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because 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 ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬CJB)‬‬‬‬

Our Lord provides us not only physical rest but also “soul rest”.  The Passion translation puts it this way:

”Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear” 

In this passage God invites us to:

  1. Come to Him. Enter His presence. Spend time with Him daily. Join in His life.

  2. Accept the work, the responsibilities He has given. Adjust our agendas to His.

  3. Learn His ways. Discover how Jesus accepted the Father’s work for Him: “…not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Jesus had only three years to carry out the most important mission ever and He did so in the most self-sacrificing, gentle and loving way. 

  4. Be humble - take no pride in accomplishments but give glory to God, recognizing it’s His work and that we accomplish it only through the power of His Spirit.

We will then find His work light and joyful. The Lord designed us to live a purposeful, abundant life. We will experience the pressures of life in this world, but He has provided Himself as an oasis where we can be overwhelmed with His refreshing soul rest.

-Kathi Fritz (a contributing writer and member of the COBI community)

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