april 14th - Rest
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matt 11:28-30 (NKJV)
Rest does not come easy to me. I usually over-commit my time; I have a hard time sitting through a movie, ball-game or a television show without doing something else, like reading a book; finally, when it comes to sleeping, insomnia has been a life-long, late night, early morning companion. (I am amazed by some of my friends who sleep long and late into the day--how do they do that?) Even as a child I had a clock with an orange illuminated face and I often watched the time reach the 3:00 position dreading the fact that my school day was going to start in 3 1/2 hours.
Part of the challenge is how do I put my mind into neutral? You know--think about nothing. Even in my dream world my mind is often in high gear. The other night I dreamed about a "new song" and the new song was being sung and performed by an entire worship team, with lyrics, melody and a pretty good arrangement! I woke up and recorded it...who knows, it might actually find its way on an album. I'm not even sure I should claim the credit as the writer.
You can imagine, Christ's promise of "rest" speaks to me. Life is crazy busy--my days are filled with challenges and problems that tend to carry over into my nights. For me, the peace of God's rest comes as I abide in Him. I take the burdens of my life and exchange them for God's yoke of
Kingdom purposes and a subtle thing happens. I find myself at rest with the "happenings" of the day--praying about everything and leaving the world of worry--relaxed with other people's problems entrusting their needs into the hands of a God who loves them--and finally, (as long as I set caffeine aside) I find myself falling into God's rest and sleeping all through the night.
Author's Note: Before I'm flooded with helpful suggestions on how to sleep better, let me say that I sleep better and more consistently now than any other time in my life. The key? A regular schedule with exercise and no caffeine or rich foods at night. It also helps when it is well with my soul--no doubt, the Lord's peace is a huge factor. RJD