MOTIVATION Ashley Thaba
This week, I am answering a question that is personal to me right now. Does God offer rest amid our busy schedules?
The past few weeks have been insanely crazy for me — a storm of unforeseen events that has had my husband and I sleeping a couple of hours a night and running like chickens with their heads cut off. We have juggled 100 things and somehow managed to keep most things afloat.
However, three separate huge things came up that were completely beyond our control, and had the power to make huge negative or positive impacts on our lives. Exhausted and feeling hopeless, I cried out to God.
When I quieted off the long to-do-list rattling continually in my mind’s corridors and the overwhelming stresses that abounded around me, the verse God whispered in His still small voice was Matthew 11:28-30: “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 for my soul? That sounds good right now! Is it possible though? I have some real problems that need to be dealt with! An example of one is that I am owed money and I have done everything in my power to ensure that the debtors pay, but now it is out of my control. Does prayer help with that? I mean… really? I felt like I should write another email, make another call, stress a little more, tell another friend, analyse it with my husband, ask more friends to pray about it… anything, but rest and not worry!
Yet, God whispered again, come to me . . . find rest for your soul! So, I decided to stop. It didn’t make sense. Time is not on my side. Logic dictates that it is a waste of time to stop and pray and meditate on God’s word when the to-do-list is piling up, but the word of God says rest and come to me.
As I sat there on my bed, forcing myself to turn my phone to silent and turn off the computer and attempt to “rest in God”, I began to really think about the verse and its implications. The picture that played in my mind was one of a good father. His child comes to him stressed about paying school fees and the father says “don’t worry about that my child. You go to sleep. No need to burden yourself with this. I will take care of it”.
The child, now convinced the father is capable of dealing with this, completely leaves that burden with the dad and sleeps well. After all, the child trusts her father and knows he will take care of it. He always does!
I then began to picture myself literally sitting in the lap of the King of the Universe, who happens to be my Heavenly Father and just telling him all the things that are stressing me! Again, another promise rang through my mind from Matthew 6, reminding me to seek first His righteousness and everything else would be added unto me. Then I thought about 1 Peter 5:7: “Cast your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you.”
I then also thought of Philippians 4:6-7 reminding me to not worry about anything, but that in everything present my request to God and the peace of God which transcends understanding would guard my heart. Then there is also Psalms 23, which says: “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”
Verse after verse rolled over and over in my mind about how God wants to give us rest! He delights in taking care of our problems! Like a shepherd with his sheep — he wants to protect us, provide for us, and guide us to a life where we don’t have to worry. Like a good parent who wants to shield his child from life’s harshness and take care of his needs… He is a good God who repeatedly is saying: Do not worry! I can run the universe! I can certainly handle your problems!
Why then do we not enjoy this benefit of rest and worry-free lives? I can’t speak for you, but I can speak for me. Deep down… I doubt He can really deal with this! I feel like I can pray, yes, but I better have a plan B in case He doesn’t answer. Don’t get me wrong. We have brains and we should use them! We have hands to work and we are definitely not encouraged to be lazy people who leech off others’ hard work while we sit and pray. But, there comes a time everyday where God says: “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat — for he grants sleep to those he loves.”
This past week, with overwhelming circumstances completely beyond my control, I decided to go to my dad and throw my hands up in the air and say “that’s it! I choose to trust in you! I need you to miraculously take care of this!” Within one day, one of the issues I had been fighting for nine months was miraculously solved!
Two more big issues are outstanding and everytime the worries creep in, I just take those thoughts captive, throw them at His feet and claim His promise that He has a plan to prosper me, not to harm me! He desires to give me abundant life. I am choosing to rest in God and He has been faithful to guard my heart and give me peace that transcends all understanding!
Although it seems hopeless with these specific two problems, God is going to somehow make a way! I pray you also will choose to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and let everything fall into place! Accept His free gift of rest today!