What is weary? The word actually means worn and weighed down. I remember my Mom saying, “there’s just no rest for the weary” – usually when she was scrubbing the floor. But this-isn’t-that, it’s . . .
The world – where we’re just a smear among the seven billion walking on it and yet we can look around within our small sphere and see how many are stressed out, burned out, trying to deal with whatever they’re dealing with.
It’s not about too busy – it’s about too heavy.
How about you ~ do you feel like you’re going through life carrying a backpack filled with the weight of trying to make this life work out in your own strength?
I want to tell you (and me) that a nap or a time away won’t make it any less heavy, because it’s not a physical tired, it’s a soul-tired. I’m surrounded by many who feel exhausted in their soul right now.
We live in a culture that’s overwhelmed and we’re all trying to be okay in an un-okay place. It’s easy to become weary when we attempt to carry our own burdens and also the burdens of those we care about in our families and friendships, church and community. And it’s easy to forget how to rest – what it means to simply rest.
So maybe like me you’ve spoken over your weary life, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And it’s true, except that familiar verse in Philippians is one of the most misused in Scripture. It’s not about accomplishing everything we set out to do because we rehearse a verse. The context is contentment not self-achievement – it’s surrendering our effort to the able strength of God in times of weakness and to be content in whatever our circumstances may be.
I find freedom in the stories recorded in the gospels because they tell of how Jesus loved and served and rested and how he taught His disciples then and how he continues to teach us today. We can rest even while doing because it’s a soul-still-peace that comes only from Him.
We can cease striving through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit when we answer an invitation that Jesus gives in Matthew. Come to Me all who are weary-heavy-laden 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. 11:28
What is striving? Interesting to know that the original Greek word for striving is agonizomai. I see the agony in it all . . . because striving is evidence of a power struggle. One we can’t win.
What is rest? Rest is reliance on the power of Jesus.
Our rest is found in His Word. We can experience a Psalm 23 rest when we realize it was written with our name all over it. It’s not just for funerals and prison chaplains. It’s for the every-day that tells us, He’ll show us the path where we don’t have to fear because He is with us. He has the table ready and His care runs over with anointing. He leads, follows, remains – and He does it forever.
My prayer for us – my prayer for you, is that we would live more out of being loved than being driven to make it all work in our own strength.
Cease striving and know that I am God. Psalm 46