Saturday, April 16, 2011

Come to Me, all who are weary...

Did you catch Pastor Bob’s sermon on Sunday? It’s been bouncing around my head all week. His message – we need to rest in order to live and serve fruitfully (rest to better work, huh?) And God will make sure we rest, one way or another! In fact, I have a hunch that He even imposes that rest on His people who refuse to take it themselves. He did that for me a couple of years ago.

I was teaching Sunday school and my co-leader had jumped ship. Furthermore, my class had become an enormous group of combined 1st and 2nd graders. "This wasn’t what I had signed up for!", I bemoaned. Week after week, I plowed forward becoming more exhausted by the minute. My nerves were frayed, my creativity had evaporated, my patience was thinning, and my joy had all but disappeared.

One day, I bent down to retrieve something from the car’s back seat. Ouch! Piercing pain shot up my side. I could not even stand! And right then, my spinning wheels ground to a halt. There was nothing I could do but lie down and rest.

Rest. And think. And pray. And cry. I felt depleted and helpless. I had failed God and failed myself. Why wasn’t I able to pull this off? Maybe I just wasn’t cut out to do this work, I thought. That’s when God spoke up. Like a surgeon, He went right to the diseased spot in my thinking. He said, “I don’t love you because you serve Me. You serve Me because you love Me.”

The truth of these words washed over me like a healing salve. God loved me. Period. It had nothing to do with whether or not I served Him, or how well I performed at doing it. He loves me. And, only with a heart full of that love and dependence could I do anything worthwhile for Him. God didn’t NEED me to accomplish His work; but, He would ALLOW me to participate in it, if only I could understand my rightful role. In my weakness, He made me strong. In my rest, He gave me work.

Col 1:9 – 10 says, “Ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will … so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work”.

So go ahead. Take that rest you desperately need. Let His words fill you and cut away any wrong thinking. Do it of your own accord, or He will do it for you :).


  1. Beautiful post, Jennifer! I know I've been where you were with that enforced rest period. I broke my leg and had to rest and recuperate, but God used that time to minister to me and to show me how giving and loving He Is. I look back on that episode as one of the most spiritually revealing times of my life. Thanks for always sharing from your heart!!

  2. Thank you Jennifer for your words! and strong reminder that God is NOT asking us to prove to him how much we can do to to serve him, or "Look good" for others, or how many tasks we can take on, etc.. He just wants us to be strong with him and do what we can do to be happy. I am a person who can't sit still, likes to be busy, and is often on the go. I love doing things for others, participating in things, etc.. and quite often this has come back to bite me in the butt so to speak. It took me many years to learn that when I exhauste myself by going..and going.. and going..I would eventually be so sick and tired that I would be down for the count for weeks..while my body recooperated! You would think that I would learn right, NOT. Until this past year or so when I finally realized it was ok to slow down and it was ok to say no and listen to silence, enjoy peace, so that when I was doing activities or volunteering my time I was finally doing so with a full and happy heart, lots of energy, and full of Joy. I don't do it to please others.. I do it to because it makes my heart happy to see other people smile.

  3. Jennifer, you are speaking my language! We live in a culture that acts like we're human doings instead of human beings and it's killing us. Sadly, I think that mentality is especially rampant among Chritian women. I think it's so commonplace that often we don't even realize we're stuck in overdrive until we fall flat on our faces. I could be the poster child for your blog, but am happy to say I don't think the Lord will have to stop me in my tracks again. And I so appreciate being at a church that accepts and respects my "no" as much as they appreciate my "yes". Thanks for the excellent reminder.