You Can Rest When You're Dead!
"Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29
“You can rest when you’re dead!” she responded to our groggy groans. It was 11 am on a Saturday morning, the equivalent of sunrise for my teenage sister and I. Mom marched into our rooms, mimicking military trumpets and distributing responsibilities.
Most of my life, I have operated under this “seize-the-day” mentality: we only have a short time on earth, so let’s get stuff done! Once the chore list is checked off, then I have the right to rest.
Urgency and productivity are commendable, but rest for our souls cannot be earned—it must be found.
Recently when I was despairing over the lackluster response to a study I worked hard to promote, the Lord set an anchor of truth into my unsettled heart:
“Your mom was right: you can rest when you’re dead. You have died to your old sinful ways, and you’re alive in Me. Rest in My love.”
"Mama, Wake up"
I thought I was teaching my own three-year-old daughter the value of rest by snuggling up with her for an afternoon nap, until she decided to drop that old habit. As I closed my eyes on the top bunk bed, she climbed down to “get some work done” (you can guess where she picked up that phrase).
After ten minutes, she announced she had written a note for me and Yia Yia, my mom, who was visiting that afternoon. Since I’m not fluent in scribble scrabble, I asked her to read it for me.
“It says, Mama: wake up. Yia Yia, stop doing things.” I raised my eyebrows in surprise of how accurately she pinned our personalities. She wanted our attention, not unlike how the Lord wants us to come to Him. Instead of running in frantic circles around Him, sometimes He just wants us to come sit with Him before He sends us out.
This is a lesson Jesus has been teaching me all my life. I'm finally waking up to it.
What striving can we exchange for His rest?
If the woman on Instagram has more followers, lands a coveted career, or has the perfect-looking family, let’s rest in His love. We can put aside envy, because Christ died for us.
When the sun goes down and panic rushes in over the overflowing sink and email box, let’s rest in His love. We can shake off anxiety because we are God’s daughters.
The world demands we keep up with appearances, expectations, and responses. But Jesus is gentle and lowly in heart.
Rest may not follow work. But when we go to Jesus, we will always find rest for our souls. Let us rest in His love, and go in grace.
Where have you heard that you cannot rest?
What kind of work habits are you teaching your children, or others around you?
What striving can you need to exchange for the rest of Christ?