Rest...Everyone needs it. I certainly do! I tend to just keep going like the Energizer Bunny and then pay for my poor choice: a stress headache that turns into a pity party, or negative thinking that spouts stay-away-before-I-blow behavior.
Even you need rest. So does your hurting Christian friend. Here at Counselors' Coach you discover how to help her find real hope in practical ways.
Jesus toldhis motley crew of twelve and the gathering crowd, eager for a healing:
"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." (Matthew 11:28,29, NIV)
This is a picture of a soul at rest because it submits to the authority of the One who knows best. No fretting. No whining. No worries. In place of negativity, you are content, satisfied, and rested.
God recognizes that life throws rocks at you. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). In this passage, other versions of the Bible use the word tribulation, meaning "distress, affliction, ordeal." I used a variant of this word one day many years ago when someone dear to me questioned why I had difficulty handling the icebergs of pain from my past. He insinuated that if I were a, ahem, strong Christian, I wouldn't have problems.
Ooh, that got me.
I snapped and snarled these exact words: "Jesus said, 'In this world you will have tribulation,' and I. AM. TRIBULATING."
Tribulation, trials, and trouble stress you. Stress interferes with rest. A doctor may recommend exercise and deep breathing. While these have merit, God's way is even better. His way is to "Come." His invitation to you and your hurting friend embraces relationship with our Savior. When you rest in Him, your jitters flitter away. Sadness lifts. Irritability takes a hike. You rest and can hear the still, small voice of God.
To me this passage describes it best:
The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by."
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" (1 Kings 19:11-13).
Did you notice where Elijah, the Old Testament prophet, found God? Not in the powerful wind...or the earthquake...or the fire. He found Him speaking in a whisper.
To hear God's whisper, I must turn off my go-go-go battery and rest. Then I can recognize God's encouraging, life-affirming words. Words like:
"You are my Beloved."
"You are mine. Always. For keeps."
"In Me you are safe."
"You are precious, my daughter."
"I cannot love you any more or any less, for I am love."
"Well done, sweetheart."
"Way to go."
When was the last time your hurting friend heard these sentiments echoed in Scripture and in prayer? Has she been too busy trying to be good or look good to the point that she has failed to come to Jesus and find rest in Him?
He's waiting for her with out-stretched arms. All she has to do is take that first step, then the second, and the third. Then she needs to walk as He walks, side by side and yoked together, and learn. Jesus won't force her to come. It's an invitation. When she makes the choice to slow down and come, she will find rest in Him. It's a promise.
As we find our rest in Jesus, troubles seem less troublesome and pain less painful. Jesus graces us in our weakness because He is strong.
You lead me beside the quiet waters where I find rest for my soul. Strengthen me to turn to You when stress threatens my joy. Give me the rest I need so I feel refreshed and encouraged to love You with all my heart and to love my neighbor as myself. Your will be done. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Do you need assistance in helping others? Or are you going through a difficulty? Feel free to contact me . I am a counselor trained in pastoral care to women.