In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, "Come to Me all who are burdened, and I will give you rest." What is rest? One of the major disorders in today's society is sleeplessness. It seems that our minds keep working so fast that we are unable to turn off the switch, and we are kept planning our next move. I confess that last night, this happened to me. Not only did I have this article to prepare, but also three devotions for the radio. And then I was replaying the troubles of the past week and how I needed to do things to try to catch up because of the time spent in the emergencies last week. Thanks tp the Holy Spirit for blessing me with a calm mind and granting me some sleep.
What is the cause of restlessness? In a devotion for August 12 in MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST, Oswald Chambers suggests that it is caused by a lack of confidence in God. Satan works our minds to plan things in such a way that we can overcome our fear, only to instill in us a further fear that maybe... When we live without confidence in Jesus, we live outside the peace that He has promised. This causes stress, but not good stress, but distress. When we feel that "I" have to solve all the world problems, the burden is very heavy. But if "I" do not do it, who will do it? Maybe it will not be done at all! Deadlines in more tasks then we can handle lead us to wonder what will happen. Will all fall apart because "I" have failed to do something?
It is at times like these that Jesus calls us to "Come to Me..." He offers us rest. This is living out the gift of God in creation. He rested on the seventh day and blessed it as a rest for His people. The world would have us believe that we need to constantly be on the go. "Idle hands are the work of the devil." we are told so that we keep busy. But is this not the problem that Elijah had when he was so busy that he thought that he did not have time to rest? He came to a cave and God asked him why. The world would like us to be afraid of the wind, earthquake and fire, but God comes to us in a still small voice. Jesus tells His disciples in the boat, "Fear not. It is I."
I am not suggesting that we should be lazy, but there is a difference between laziness and resting in the Lord. Laziness is the same as restlessness. Both worship the "I". One doesn't trust God to provide his work for us, while the other doesn't allow God to do His work through us. We are not the Savior. We are asked to follow Jesus, not to do it all, but to have the compassion He had as we care for others. We ask, "How can we show the love of Jesus?", and respond as the Holy Spirit gives us strength. However, He invites us to do the work we can, to care as we are able. His invitation to us is "Be not afraid, but do what I give you strength to." So work and rest in the Lord.