I must be feeling nostalgic these days. Maybe I am just tired and I need some rest? Have you ever had one of those days when you just wanted to take a break, close your eyes and dream of yesterdays? As I sat down to reflect today and then to share my musings I found myself drawn to this verse, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). I love that verse, especially when I feel like I just need a little time out, just a little rest. When I read that verse I think about Psalm 23 - “The Lord is my Shepherd, He makes me lie down in green pastures…” I also think of Isaiah 40:30-31, “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”
I think part of my weariness, my desire for rest, is realizing how complicated our world has become. Do you sense that the world has become much more difficult these days? I really felt my spirit lifted when I read these words from Robert Fulghum, “Think what a better world it would be if we all -the whole world- had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess. And it is still true, no matter how old you are-when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.” ― All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Maybe I am just missing kindergarten.
The other day I came across this entrepreneur’s business for helping people find rest in their busy and hectic world. The business is called MetroNaps. It actually started on the 24th floor of the Empire State Building. Customers could go up to the 24th floor, take off their shoes and climb into a chair that was similar to a dentist chair, put on some headphones, and rest for about 20 minutes. At the 20 minute mark the chair would lightly shake and vibrate you awake from you rest. The cost for this time of rest is $14.00. This kind of rest is always good when you are describing physical fatigue, but many people are not just physically fatigued, they are also emotionally and spiritually fatigued. Many people, especially this time of the year, are just plain worn-out and a 20 minute nap will not solve that kind of weariness.
The rest that a person in this condition needs is a soul rest, an experience of having one’s soul restored. Soul restoration is what Isaiah was describing when he gave the image of being lifted up on wings of eagles. When David describes God as a Shepherd, who cares for all of our needs and addresses our worries, David is describing a soul restoration experience. This soul restoration experience can only be found when we find our rest in Jesus.
How does Jesus promote rest? Prayer. Jesus would intentionally seek out places and times to be alone with the Father. He would listen intently for the still small voice of God. He would reach out to the gentle and humble heart of God. When you are in the presence of a God who has incredibly strength which is equally matched with gentleness and humility you cannot help but feel your spirit in a state of rest.
Well that’s enough musing for now I am going to go take a nap, but first I think I will go and rest in the presence of God with a time of prayer.