Learn to Rest


Learn to Rest
Wendy Blight

“He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:3a
(ESV)

My words poured through frustrated tears. “I try to be so
organized. Every night I make a ‘to do’ list. I wake up in the morning furiously
giving my best to complete every task. There are never enough hours in my day to
get them all done. I wake up the next day to do it all over again, only this
time, the unfinished tasks from yesterday’s list carry over to today’s. I’m so
tired!”

My dear friend and mentor calmly interrupted, “Wendy, you must
learn to rest.”

Taking a deep breath, I whispered, “Is resting something
I have to learn?”

“Yes,” she said firmly, “you must learn to
rest.”

“Okay,” I told her. “I’ll go to bed earlier and when I feel super
tired, I’ll take a short nap.”

Back then I thought the cure to my
weariness would come from resting my tired body and delaying my duties for a
time with a catnap. But that wasn’t what she meant. My friend knew there was a
difference between being physically tired and needing to catch up on some zzz’s,
and being worn out in our hearts, minds and souls.

The truth is, we
aren’t weary simply because our schedules are full. We are weary because our
spirits are depleted. Within each one of us resides a soul that desperately
needs renewal and restoration, something an overloaded schedule doesn’t always
allow.

It’s easy to hide our exhausted souls. On the outside we may
appear well-organized, emotionally stable, and put together. But on the inside
we are often hopelessly overwhelmed and completely stressed out. The remedy for
our weariness will not be found in a nap, but in God alone.

In the Old
Testament, Psalm 23 speaks of God as our Shepherd. That passage says our
Shepherd “restores” our souls. When I looked a bit deeper into the original
meaning of “restore,” I learned so much more about God’s promise to bring life
back to my tired soul.

The Hebrew word “restore” in Psalm 23 is shuwb.
It’s a word most often translated “to return or go back.” It speaks of God’s
people returning to Him and means “movement back to the point of departure.” The
use of the word “restore” implies we must return to God to receive our
restoration.

In the New Testament in John 10:14, Jesus tells us He is our
“Good Shepherd.” This is from the Greek word poimen. It literally means
“shepherd,” referring to one who guides, guards, and provides for his flock.
When we return to our Shepherd, Jesus, He will guard us, guide us and provide
for our every need.

Our Good Shepherd can only restore our souls when we
turn our hearts and our minds away from the noise and busyness of the world back
to Him. Sitting alone with the Lord leads us to peace and gives us the strength
we need to move forward.

Do you need restoration? Take this little
test.

Does every word your husband speak irritate you?

Does every
errand you have to run for your kids breed resentment?

Does every morning
bring feelings of stress and anxiety?

If you answered yes to one or all
of these questions, you are running on empty, operating out of your own depleted
resources.

Learn to rest.

Return to your Good
Shepherd.

Invite Him to restore your soul.

Receive a fresh filling
of His love, mercy and grace.

When you do, He will replace your weariness
with strength, your resentment with thanksgiving, your irritability with
patience, and your anxiety with peace.

The Lord is waiting.

Meet
with Him. He will refresh and renew you, enabling you to go out into the world
to serve your family and friends filled with a newfound sense of His peace,
love, and joy.

Dear Lord, help me be still before You. Give me the rest
only You can give. Renew and restore my weary heart. Fill me to overflowing. In
Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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