Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
– Matthew 11:28
A few days ago I took a walk.
I took a LONG walk.
I walked for over an hour. By myself.
When I was heading out the door my son said, “Uh Oh! Is this one of those corona walks because you’re mad about something?”
In all honesty this was one of those walks but not because I was mad about something but because I was sad and tired. It was that day I realized how much I have been holding together these last 60 days or so:
- My mental health
- My children’s mental health
- Keeping the house clean, the fridge stocked, and the meals planned
- Keeping my dogs happy
- Trying to be supportive of the trials of homework, computers, and missing friends
- Missing my own friends
- Trying to be a kind and compassionate wife
- Trying to be a loving mom without smothering
- Worried about friends and family members health
- Worried about what the future school year will look like
That morning before my walk I had to drop off my truck for an oil change. My oldest daughter and son picked me and my youngest up to drive us home. I realized that morning how fragile we each were. Some of us were sad, some angry, so indifferent. Each of us handling life in our own ways. None of us really being able to verbalize what our feelings were.
I got home and texted my husband who was at work.
He told me to leave and go to the park for a few hours alone. At first I thought how stupid that idea was because I didn’t want to walk around a park – alone – for hours. However, later that day, I decided indeed I would do something and so I walked. On my way home I turned the corner on to my street, looked up at my house on the hill, and took a deep breath. Then I see the sign on the side of the road that said ROAD WORK AHEAD.
When you see those signs on the side of the road, you sit up straighter, pay closer attention to your surroundings, basically prepare yourself for something bumpy and unexpected ahead. It makes it easier to prepare your way when you know what to expect.
Unfortunately we don’t always know when the road ahead will get bumpy. We don’t have “ROAD WORK AHEAD” signs to carry to make us aware when our spouse is breaking or our kids are sad or frustrated. It’s not always easy to see what’s ahead when it comes to the feelings and emotions of those we love and care about.
I opened my bible to Matthew Chapter 11 and was reminded yet again that God is there for us. That he will provide us everything we need. He will even provide us rest.
“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.”
Jesus tells us right there to take his yoke because it’s easier and lighter. He will take ours. A yoke is the wooden pieces that fit across an animal that attaches to a cart or a plow that they pull. Jesus tells us he will take our burdens from us and pull us through. He will give us his gentleness and humbleness. We will find rest there.
I waited for my list of keeping, trying, doing, and worrying to get far too long. I was losing the ability to function in a capacity that was good for me and my family. My batteries had run dry. Jesus reminds us to go to him for rest.
Rest doesn’t have to come in the form of napping, or physically laying down. For me it came in the suggestion of my husband to leave and take a walk. Rest can also come in telling a loved one exactly how you feel so they don’t have to guess. Or it may come in stepping back from your list or thoughts and enjoy the outdoors. Rest looks different to different people.
My husband also told me to think about the things that I liked to do and to do them. To make time for them. That would give my soul rest from the keeping, trying, doing, and worrying.
Today – think about the things that make you happy. Is it a craft, cooking, reading, singing, telling jokes….Write those things down. Spend the next few days actually doing some of them. Add them to your to do list, or your calendar, or tell your friend to help you follow through. Just use the next few days to DO a few of them. Don’t wait until you need to hold up your ROAD WORK AHEAD sign. Get the rest you need today doing those things that make you smile now!
STUDY – Matthew 11:25-30 – NIV
25At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
27All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”