- in a clean house
- God-fearing children
- a happy husband
- the "perfect" schedule
The problem in finding rest in any of those, as honoring to God as some of them may be, is that they are all temporal, and generally external.
Perfect, true rest starts from within me, as God transforms my heart and alters my outlook and thinking. It does not build on external circumstances or accomplishments.
God calls us constantly to come to Him for peace and rest. Interestingly, rest does not necessarily mean the absence of work. Our souls can rest even while our bodies remain at work. Matthew 11:28-30 says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Such comfort in those words.
These verses came to mind again as I read in You Matter More than You Think about the often quoted story of Mary and Martha. As overwhelmed housewives we often relate more to Martha as she hurried about taking care of the tasks of hospitality while "lazy" Mary sat doing "nothing." Leslie Parrott sums this up in Martha's focus on doing loving things rather than being a loving person. She really should have parked herself at Jesus' feet. Although her tasks may have been God honoring, her heart caused her not to honor God.
I pondered this more . . . Luke 10:42 Jesus told Mary that "only one thing is necessary." Only one thing.
Martha hurried while Mary humbled herself.
Martha rushed while Mary learned
Martha bustled while Mary bowed
Martha worked while Mary worshiped.
Mary didn't sit because she needed to. She sat because God was her priority.
How often do I sit? Not because I need "me" time, but simply because God is my priority?
As Christians, our sole focus is God. Parrott wrapped up with this powerful statement, "Our inherent inclination to nurture can cause us to mistake selflessness for love." Wow, is that me. How often do I chalk up my service as love when it is really duty driven selflessness? True love keeps God the priority and all else falls into place. If I remain under His yoke my work will be joyful, easy, light. I have to consciously do that though.
Put away the checklist, and take on His rest. What a promise!
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.