Word For Your Weekend - Rest - Part 2
“Fine! I’m good! Doing ok!”
How often do those responses escape our lips when we are asked, “How are you today?” Even if we are exhausted. Even if we are anxious about tomorrow’s IEP meeting. Even if we are silently praying for another seizure not to happen today. Even if we are emotionally drained from an earlier conversation with our spouse. We want to seem ok, put on a good front, and wear a happy face. We give those pat answers to our friends, our family, our spouse - and sometimes, we give the same answers to the Lord.
I absolutely love Jesus’ words in Matthew 11, where He starts with, “Come to me, all of you…” and glory, hallelujah He doesn’t end there. He doesn’t say, “Come to me, all of you who are fine and had a full night’s sleep!” He doesn’t say, “Come to me, all of you who are ok and can keep their composure in the face of mounds of stress!” He doesn’t say, “Come to me, all of you who are doing good and are strong and self-sufficient!” No…
He says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens…” (v 28)
Since becoming a parent, I often think of coming to Jesus in terms of how my kids come to my husband and me for help with things. It is not unusual for me to hear countless times each day, “Mommy, I need help!” My kids don’t hesitate. They don’t pause and wonder, “Hmmm...is it ok if I ask Mommy for help with this? Will she really know the answer? Should I Google this problem first before asking Daddy?” Instead, they come and grab my hand, trusting me completely, and tell me about their problem.
I have to believe that Jesus desires the same trust from us. He knows that it’s too much for us to carry...and He invites us to come, even with our weariness. We don’t have to analyze it or fix it first. We don’t have to figure out a way to unload the burden before we come to Him. He wants us to come to Him - burdens and stresses, pain and problems, weariness and all.
How do we come to Him? If you are a believer in Jesus, I would say the primary way that we come to Him is through prayer - truly pouring out our hearts before Him, without shame or pretense because of the blood of Jesus. You can bring all of you to Him, and tell Him about every heavy burden you may be carrying. He is not afraid of it and you cannot take Him by surprise. Some of the most precious times I have ever spent with the Lord have been when I came to Him with my anger, frustration, fears, or anxiety - and realized that He loved me even still.
Along with prayer, we can come to Jesus through His Word. Scripture is so rich in encouragement for those who are weary. Spend time reading or listening to the Word, and allow His truth to refresh your heart. As a busy and often overwhelmed mom, this sometimes means listening to an audio Bible on my phone while folding laundry or in the car while driving to appointments. However I manage to make time, I never regret meditating on the truth of Scripture.
If you are not yet a believer in Jesus, I would encourage you to come to Him with your whole life, right now! There is no better time. Genuine rest is only found in knowing that your sin is washed away by the blood of Jesus and that His grace is yours every single day. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is absolutely vital in this journey of special-needs parenting. If you have questions about what exactly this means, please reach out to us. We would love nothing more.
James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” What a promise for all of us who are “weary and carry heavy burdens”! He invites us all to come...just as we are.
- What are heavy loads that special needs parents carry? Do you need to come to Jesus and bring those burdens to Him?
- When you experience trials in your life who do you typically turn to first?
- What does “coming to Jesus” look like in your life? Are you spending time with Him in prayer and reading/listening to Scripture?
- What are some specific steps you can take to “come to Jesus” first when you are weary and burdened?
Prayer… Father, thank You that you invite us to come to You. Thank you that the invitation is always open and You are always waiting to welcome us. Help us to come to You first, every time, with every burden. You are so faithful and kind, and You lead us so gently toward true rest. We love you. Amen.
(c) 2018 by Hannah Kistler