Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
We take turns doing the devotional in our weekly team meetings. One of my co-workers has chosen to do the Dayspring Word of the Year for their first devotional in January for the last couple of years.
To sign up for our word of the year, we each went to the website and answered a few questions about which phrase or statement best applies to us regarding our current faith walk or what we desire for our walk in the upcoming year. After answering all of the questions, your word for the year will come up.
This year, I chose answers relating to trusting and faithfulness, focusing on what is important, fully living the life God has designed for me, digging deeper into his Word, and feeling his presence.
I was very surprised when my word came up: rest. That is not at all what I expected. I thought I might get something like “faith,” “focus,” “growth.” More of an action word.
I started digging deeper into what “rest” truly means and how I needed to apply it to my life this year. The first Scripture that came to mind was Matthew 11:28: Jesus encourages us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
In one of her devotionals, Lysa TerKeurst says this about Matthew 11:28: “But the rest Jesus offers is not a spiritual sleep aid. The Greek word for this kind of rest is anapauo, which has as one of its definitions, ‘of calm and patient expectation.’”
Another definition I found was to “cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.”
It is amazing how the Lord works sometimes. Since my initial investigation into rest, he has put sermons, devotionals, circumstances, and studies in my path that have pointed to rest and restoration. Restoration means to “bring back to or put back something to a former original state.” God created rest as a way for us to connect with him and enjoy his presence. Rest is where he will do his healing work in our minds and bodies.
The season is a time of repentance, discipline, and renewal through a close examination of our spiritual lives. It is a wonderful time to allow our minds, bodies, and souls to renew and regain strength through resting in the Father. This time provides the opportunity to ask him to show us the things in our lives that hinder our relationships with him or the things that keep us from being who he desires us to be.
Restoration is the fruit of rest, so let’s rest in the Master Restorer.
We come to you and rest in your presence. Renew us through your Word and through your Spirit and allow us to regain strength and focus, to be the person you desire us to be.
In Jesus’ name,
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