“Most of the things we need to be most fully alive never come in busyness. They grow in rest.” Mark Buchanan, The Holy Wild: Trusting in the Character of God
Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29
Have you ever thought about a Sabbath for the soul? Sometimes our souls need rest. There are times when we think, I’m so tired - on the inside! Trying to keep our chins up in spite of challenging times - whether it be COVID-19 or the trials that life throws at us in the best of times - is wearying. Pushing down anxieties and fears takes emotional energy. Spreading ourselves super thin to meet the needs of everyone and everything can wear us out, not only on the outside, but on the inside, too. For some of us, our jobs are more emotionally draining than physically draining, but that emotional drain can make us feel tired both inside and out. Jesus, so in tune with humanity’s struggles, recognizes this and offers a Sabbath for our souls - rest for our souls. In the middle of crises, anxieties, and demands, we must look inward to keep our souls healthy and rested. How can we do that? Since Jesus offered such a rest, we must go to Him. Even for a few seconds, when feeling overwhelmed, we can turn our faces to a corner and whisper, “Jesus, I need your rest, I need your peace.” If you have given the Prince of Peace the throne of your heart, you can look inward at any moment on any day and ask Him to restore your emotional energy and speak peace to your soul. Looking to Jesus, we can have a Sabbath for our souls at any time; we can spiritually transcend the hurry, the emotional drain, the anxieties, and the bad news by thinking about reassuring Scriptures and whispering short prayers. Simply whispering His name - Jesus - you will be surprised how He rushes to your aide, to help you carry the heavy burdens of life.
Pray Psalm 40:1-5; 11-13;16-17:
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
4 Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.[b] 5 Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.
11 Do not withhold your mercy from me,Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me,Lord;
come quickly,Lord, to help me.
16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!”
17 But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.