As I gazed at myself in the bathroom mirror Monday morning, I thought, “There is not enough eye cream in the world to get rid of these tired eyes!” They were squinty and dark, the normal spark lost somewhere behind the events of the past three weeks. They have been filled to the rim with terrific and glorious events, but if I am honest, really hard and emotional ones as well. Moments that made me want to cry in amazement and others that made me want to cry because of a broken heart.
Two emergency room visits (one for me and one for my husband), our daughter’s wedding, then moving her and her family to a new home in southern Iowa, a summer camp program and baseball for our youngest, difficult situations at work, launching a new program, deadlines and requests, a volunteer picnic, and welcoming a U.S. Senator to the center for a visit. Not to mention the weight I carry for those in my life struggling with their own events and battles. Whew!
Who’s with me? Do you ever feel like your soul is overwhelmed by, not just your schedule but rather, all the tugging at our hearts and our minds. Do you get up in the morning, look in the mirror and think, “If I can just make it to next weekend I’ll be able to rest”? But somehow, in the midst of mothering, wifing, daughtering, friending, leading, and caring a whole lot about people, rest gets put on the back burner.
This is life. I’ve learned to say no, so how does this happen to me? Life. It happens all around us and it’s just plain hard sometimes. During busy seasons of major commitments there are emergencies and stressors that are out of our control. Then there are those moments that tug so mightily at your heart that you think you just might break. There are seasons where we just have to take things one day at a time or even one moment at a time.
During these seasons, my normal time with God is compromised, but I learned something while walking through this most recent season; God’s presence brings rest even in the midst of hard or overwhelming circumstances.
“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
It was this scripture my heart held on to over the past few weeks when things felt too much to bear. When I thought my heart and body just couldn’t go much further before breaking, the Lord invited me into a short moment of rest, in Him. Sometimes, in the midst of overwhelming schedules or hard situations, we allow our emotions to determine our next steps or our anxiety causes us to do things we aren’t exactly proud of. For me this scripture gave me the grace to rest in him, even if my schedule or circumstance wouldn’t allow me to retreat, the Lord allowed me to rest in Him for that moment. His grace washes over you and you are given the strength keep on going.
Then when the time allows I will stop, I will rest and reflect on all the Lord has done…
“Then because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” Mark: 6:31
He longs for us to come and rest in him, alone, in the quiet place of our hearts. He is faithful to sustain us when we need to keep going. He renews and refreshes us after a long season. This weekend, find a place to steal away with him and, if you simply cannot take a moment in the midst of your busy schedule, just call upon him for rest in that moment. He is faithful!
Lord, there is so much life that happens all around us. Sometimes it’s more than our bodies and our hearts can take but you are faithful to sustain us. Give us peace in the moments when our hearts call out to you. Thank you for a safe and comforting resting place in your arms. May we all find ourselves at peace there.