Word For Your Weekend - Rest - Part 1
This week we begin a new series on our Friday Word For Your Weekend. This series about rest was written by Rising Above team member Hannah Kistler. In this series we will be exploring what true rest looks like, and practical ways to find rest on our special-needs journey.
When I was a teenager my parents and brothers knew not to wake me up out of a deep sleep. If you did, it was not pretty. I can remember feeling so angry on Saturday mornings when my Dad would wake me with an abrupt, “Breakfast is ready!” I did not feel like getting up...or eating breakfast...or even talking to another human being. I feel like my entire life I have always wanted more rest.
This has changed only slightly since becoming a parent. My sons are currently 4 years, 3 years, and 4 months old, and although I am now a bit more amiable in the mornings, my first goal is always coffee. But more rest would never be turned down.
I remember the first few weeks of parenthood after my oldest son was born...I was not ready for the shock and awe that is sleep deprivation. I had always heard that babies don’t sleep great, but I was not prepared for what lay ahead. I ran the gamut of emotions and sleep-deprived thoughts, beginning with surely this cannot be normal to I have to do this from now on? If you are a special-needs parent, you know...sleep is a precious, precious commodity. Sometimes it isn’t even available, and you find yourself drowning in exhaustion. You crave rest.
But there is another kind of weariness, beyond physical sleep deprivation...a weariness that getting more sleep cannot take away. It might be the burden of worry over your child’s new diagnosis. It might be fear over how this special-needs journey is going to affect your marriage. Or maybe it is anxiety over your child’s future and the future of your family. If someone asked you how you are, you might respond with, “Fine!” - but deep down you are bone-tired - physically, emotionally, spiritually. You just. want. rest.
This kind of deep weariness requires more than a nap or some “me time”. This is weariness of spirit...and it requires true rest and renewal that only our Father can provide, through His Word and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus so gently says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Praise Jesus - it’s okay to come to Him weary. In fact, He invites us to. I for one am so thankful that I don’t have to be rested-up before I come to Him and learn from Him!
Over the next few weeks we are going to look at what Scripture says about this spirit-deep rest that Jesus offers and how we can tap into it, as well as look at some practical ways we can intentionally bring more true rest into our daily lives. I can’t wait!
- How would you define weariness?
- What causes you to be weary?
- How do you define rest?
- Can you think of one thing - just one - that you could eliminate from your schedule that would remove some weariness from your life?
Father, thank You for Your promise of rest. Thank you for Your promise to teach us. Thank You for dealing with us gently and shepherding our hearts as we follow after You. May we rest in Your promises this week, and know that it’s ok to come to You weary. You are strong enough to carry us and we praise You for Your goodness in doing so. We love You, Jesus! Amen.
(c) 2018 by Hannah Kistler