Today’s Truth

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29, NLT).

Friend to Friend

How tired are you?

I’m not talking about the kind of tired that a good nap can take care of. I’m talking about the kind of tired that happens deep in our soul.

Does Jesus understand that kind of unrest? He does.

In Matthew 11, Jesus is speaking to a crowd. It’s been an incredibly long and hard day. His life-giving message has not been received and Jesus is seeing humanity with all its flaws. He talks to the people about how they have resisted the good gift God is trying to give them. We can’t help but sense how challenging this is.

Then Jesus begins to talk directly to His Heavenly Father. The crowd is still in front of Him. As He prays, He reminds Himself that God is still sovereign. The mission God called Him to do will still unfold.

As we listen to Jesus, He shows us what it is to enter a safe place of rest (a refuge) with our Heavenly Father.

The day has not changed. The crowd is the same. All the frustrations are still there. Yet
something spectacular happens. There’s a shift. Having found rest, Jesus now offers it to the crowd.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29, NLT).

What kind of rest is Jesus offering and what does this mean for us?

Jesus is offering spiritual rest that will not be found under the bed covers or a long afternoon of binging Netflix. It is the same rest He just received. The word rest in this invitation is anapausis. This describes deep rest that goes into the heart, thought life, and well-being of the one who receives it.

It’s rest that gives an intermission from the hard work of worry, uncertainty, and frustration. It’s rest from old wounds and new struggles. It’s rest from labor we place on ourselves and burdens placed on our hearts by others.

This isn’t rest from something. It’s rest in something. This rest syncs us with the heart and being of God.

Who doesn’t need this rest?

I don’t know about you, but I desperately need rest from the unrest in the world right now. The beautiful news is that you and I are invited to take our focus off of the crowd and hold up our hearts in the midst of real life, in the midst of a pandemic, and in the middle of unasked for and unforeseen circumstances.

This is rest that hold us, like a safe place in a wild storm. As we take our eyes off the crowd to receive it, something incredible takes place. We not only enter into that rest; we are in a position to turn to others and offer them rest too.

Let’s Pray

Dear Savior, you made an offer of rest that I often refuse. I press on. I try to fix it in my own power. I hide or isolate or pretend like it’s all okay. The truth is I’m exhausted of doing this on my own and if you are offering deep-into-my-spiritual-bones rest, I am holding up my heart, my thoughts, and my life to you to receive that gift. Thank you for not only carrying my burden but making room on the inside of me for joy and peace, and the ability to take a deep breath.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

  • Jesus offers you rest right now, right where you are. What might be one thing that keeps you from receiving that gift?
  • In what ways is your focus on the “crowd” keeping you from rest?

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s content is from Suzanne’s new book, JoyKeeper: 6 Truths That Change Everything You Thought You Knew About Joy. This newly released book helps you know joy, keep joy, and live joy as you explore six biblical truths that redefine joy from a feeling to what you know. You are invited to live a life marked by joy that no one can take from you, regardless of your circumstances.

JoyKeeper is interactive all the way through, inviting you to reflect and dig deeper. JoyKeeper also contains a Bible study guide for group study, as well as 30 devotions to help you practice the truths in your own life.

© 2021 by Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.

4 Responses to “Deep-Into-Your-Bones Rest”

  1. Gina A. says:

    Dear Friends of God. I love reading your devotionals the moment I wake up. I suffer from insomnia but instead of fighting to go back to sleep, I listen to Psalms or read the emails you send me. It helps me a lot. I am very grateful.

  2. Phyllis Carlton says:

    I NEEDED this!!
    May God Bless and prosper you ALL!!

    P.S. Would you please consider printing your text in bold letters?
    I know I DO have settings on my phone for that, but they don’t always work with EVERY web page?

  3. Bernadette says:

    “Find rest, my soul
    In Christ alone
    Know His power
    In quietness and trust”

    This devotional reminds me of the song above.

    I need rest and I can only find that in Christ.

  4. Tamra says:

    Thank you! I needed this reminder that God will take care of things and that I can come to him . This last two years have been very stressful in my work and family. I am going to work on letting HIM give me rest.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8