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 (Matthew 11:28–30 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Today I pressured a friend to quit.
My friend Lori has had some big, wonderful things happen in her life, including a wedding to the man of her dreams, and it was time to “get back to work.” She had an event planned, is a super hard worker, and was doing everything to pull it off.
She was exhausted. She was worn out from all the good stuff in her life.
But she was going to keep going, because that is the kind of person she is. She has a high sense of responsibility.
I could see in her eyes that, more than she needed to keep her commitment, she needed a nap. And I recognized that look, because at one time I saw it in the mirror.
About a month after my dad died, it was time for me to get back to speaking on the road. I was going ahead with plans and making travel arrangements.
As I was talking to one of my event planners, she said, “Kathi, you seem tired. Can we just postpone this for three months?” And I told her no, I was fine, and let’s just go ahead. When she pressed me one more time, I broke down in tears.
More than keeping my commitment, I needed a nap.
That almost stranger gave me a gift. The gift of “breaking a promise” and permission to just rest.
Friend, we can’t always predict what is going to take it out of us. Some things our bodies recover from quickly. Other things? They surprise us with the emotional, spiritual, and physical toll.
It’s okay to say, “I need to postpone. I need a pass. I need to not do this right now.” Besides the three closest people in your life, most times, no one else is going to give you permission, much less pressure you into taking care of yourself.
Often, we’re trained to suck it up so that we don’t inconvenience others. We tell ourselves, “Just push through—you can rest when you’re dead.” But that is no way to live as a child of God.
God designed us, day to day, to live a life that is not only pleasing to Him, but one that honors the needs we are designed with—the need to love and be loved, the need to care for others and be cared for, the need to worship and experience peace and joy, the need to work and eat. And yes, the need to rest.
Jesus models what rest should look like. We can learn from Him because His desire is for us to never be weary or burdened, which is exactly what a lack of rest looks and feels like.
In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said, “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.”
Rest is as holy as work, love, and worship.
Rest is deep spiritual work. And you, my friend? Are worthy of the deep, spiritual, countercultural work of rest.
So if there is no one close by right now to look into your eyes and say, “What is your plan for rest?” or “Cancel that appointment. You need a day without appointments,” or “How about you go take a nap,” I ask you now: What is your plan for rest? Because it does need a plan.
Please give yourself permission and a plan for rest.
Dear Lord, Thank You for the gift of rest. Please help me exchange this heavy burden for the light and easy one You have for me. Teach me from Your example.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Is there something in your life that you need to quit? Maybe it’s a volunteer role you’ve never felt quite right in and it just drains you, or maybe it’s a favor that has turned into a joyless obligation. What is your “exit plan” for removing that from your “have to” list?
Where can you add in some time for deep, holy rest?
More from the Girlfriends
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