I had just arrived at my favorite coffee shop. As I opened the door, the smell of freshly brewed java greeted me and filled my creative mind with possibilities. I was eager to get to work and excited that my warm, happy coffee-friend would come along with me for the ride. As I grabbed a cup from the counter and paid, I asked the barista how she was doing.
“I’m exhausted!” She lamented with a sigh.
I knew exactly how she felt. I feel that way a lot! I’m famous for trying to put ten pounds of living into a five-pound sack. She was tired. Stressed. Drained. Over-committed. Under-rested. Exhausted.
Yep. I totally know that feeling.
Have you been there? Ha! Of course you have! It’s so easy for us to rush into our days and get busy with life stuff, attempting to accomplish mountains of tasks and emotional situations in our own strength. We are constantly pulled in a million directions. Trying to juggle the slow, steady drain of complicated relationships, crazy schedules, and weighty challenges.
The simple truth is, our exhaustion problems can’t be solved without God. I find it comforting to realize that we aren’t the first people to struggle with feelings like this. All throughout Scripture people got worn-out and lamented about their tired souls. David wrote countless Psalms about being weary, and Elijah was so exhausted at one point that he sank into a deep depression and lost his God-courage. Jesus spoke to a crowd of people in Galilee one day about the only sure-fire solution to our exhaustion problem.
He 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.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)
The MESSAGE paraphrase of those same verses reads this way, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG)
When you keep company with Jesus you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. Does that sound appealing to you? If so, then it’s time to respond to His invitation. Whether you have thirty seconds or thirty minutes, pause now to turn to Him. Grab your prayer journal if you have one. Center your heart on His splendor and approach Him with reverence. While you are in His presence, empty your exhaustion out before Him. Tell Him the concerns on your heart and take a soul rest.
That day in the coffee shop, as I filled my cup I gave my exhausted, coffee-serving friend a smile and a knowing look. Then I spoke a word of hope to her heart and encouraged her to refuel in the secret place, the presence of God. She smiled back and thanked me for the reminder. She loves the Lord, but – like all of us – she sometimes forgets that soul rest is available.
Keep company with Him today. All day. When you do, you’ll experience His strength for each moment and His hope in each challenge.
Live freely and lightly in Jesus, girlfriend.
Heavenly Father, You are mighty to save and all I need. Thank You for reminding me that I can always come to you and trade in my exhaustion for Your rejuvenation. I come to You today and ask that You would restore rest to my soul. In Jesus’ name, amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION: Read and meditate on the words that Jesus spoke to His apostles when they were tired and weary one day, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31b, NIV) Now read it again and add your name to it.
Allow the music and lyrics of “Sacred Place” to lead you into God’s presence right now. Turn up the speakers on your computer and listen to the song as you center your heart, mind, and soul on the Holy One.
FOR YOUR RESPONSE: Make a statement! Leave a comment below telling me, “I’m ready to live freely and lightly!” Need prayer? Post a prayer need as a comment below. Then pause to pray for the three prayer needs posted prior to yours.