For a long time, I have struggled with being a people-pleaser. I have this desire to make everyone around me happy, so I feel like if I say “no” to something, or have to back out of something I have already committed to, then I will be letting someone (or multiple people) down. But within the last few months, God has really been speaking to my heart and helping me to realize that it is perfectly OK, and sometimes necessary, to say “no” to things; even if deep down I wish I could say “yes”, or when I know that it would be benefiting the kingdom of God. I know how it feels to be stressed, overworked and under the pressure of deadlines and various commitments. And with that said, doing the Lord’s work should never be stressful; it’s something that we should do with a great sense of joy in our hearts. But at the same time, we are still human, and there are times when we just become physically and mentally exhausted. When it comes to the Kingdom of God, busyness does not always equal productivity or effectiveness. I personally have experienced this reality on many occasions.
But thank goodness we serve a God who is so understanding and sympathetic of our weaknesses! I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful to have a Savior who gives me peace in the midst of a world full of chaos and stress! I am so thankful that I can come to him with my busy schedule and look to him for guidance and direction. Every day I have to make it a priority to ask Jesus to be the center of my life and help me not to let my busyness and commitments in this world interfere with my ability to spend quality alone time with Him. I am learning the importance of finding my rest in Jesus. Pure, refreshing, unhindered REST. No distractions, just rest. I am learning that there is great value to my spirit when I step away from the world and all of its demands and just sit quietly in the presence of my Savior. Sometimes whispering a prayer, and sometimes saying nothing at all, but just enjoying the sound of silence and knowing that He is with me.
In fact, in the Bible this is not a foreign concept at all. Jesus himself demonstrated it for us best. Several times throughout the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we see the writers documenting that Jesus would often step away from the disciples and the crowds of people to go off alone so He could pray and connect with His heavenly Father. Because the demands on Him were so great, Jesus knew that in order to serve effectively and efficiently He would need to have a deep connection to His Father in Heaven. And in order for us to serve effectively and efficiently we need to do the same. That also means taking the time to rest in Him when we are feeling overwhelmed or worn out. Life gets hard, and our schedules often have a way of building up to the point where we don’t even know how we are going to be able to do everything we need to do. However, I can guarantee you that nothing on our daily “to-do” lists is more important than simply taking the time to rest in Jesus Christ.
Whenever I take the time to do this, I feel so much more refreshed and capable of tackling life’s daily challenges. And I know that you can feel that way too. All you have to do is come to Him, rest in Him, and connect with Him. He will give you the peace and strength you need for the present moment. But don’t just take my word for it. Listen to the words of Jesus Himself!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)