"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
As we drove home from a weekend in the mountains, I felt a heavy sense of dread and sadness. Laying my head back on my seat, I told my husband, J.J., "I don't want to go home."
After talking through my reasons with him, I realized the stress and strain of countless commitments - at home and work - were taking a toll on me. I just wanted to go back to the mountains where I could rest.
J.J. encouraged me to make a list of everything on my plate and ask God what I needed to cut back. At first I resented his suggestion. It felt like he'd just added one more thing I "needed to do." Yet I knew J.J. was right and eventually I made the list.
Then I asked God to show me where to make changes. Much to my surprise the changes I sensed Him leading me to make weren't in my schedule - they were in me.
God didn't show me I needed to cut back at work or in ministry. He didn't show me our kids were in too many activities. He didn't lead me to take a sabbatical, although I was kind of hoping He would.
Instead, I sensed it was worry - not my workload - that was making me weary.
I thought about the months leading up to this point and realized I'd spent almost as much time thinking and worrying about deadlines as I spent working on them. Some days my concerns about commitments and meeting people's expectations had consumed me.
I had let my mind dwell on the possible outcome of several different decisions - all at the same time - and it left me depleted mentally, emotionally and physically.
Honestly though, until I stopped and talked to God about it, I didn't recognize my mental mayhem as worry.
My mind is wired to think a lot so I'd gotten used to the constant flurry of motion in my brain. Yet anxiety had crept in slowly, causing tangles in my thoughts, a tightening in my chest, and tension in my neck. Some days I couldn't stop thinking about ALL I needed to do.
Instead of going back to the mountains to rest, I sensed God wanted me to find a resting place in His presence right in the middle of my busy life. Through today's key verse from Matthew 11:28, He invited me to come to Him with the worries that were making me weary.
Do you sense Him inviting you to come to Him today?
He promises a place to quiet your thoughts in His presence. "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'" (Ps. 91:1-2 NIV)
He offers freedom from the captivity of your concerns when you bring them to Him: "'Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. And I will lead you back from captivity.'" (Jeremiah 29:13-14 NIV)
Today, instead of letting our worries make us weary, let's respond to God's invitation and come to Him - asking, seeking and finding a resting place for our restless thoughts.
Dear Lord, when my concerns consume me, help me remember You are there inviting me to come to You and talk about all I'm thinking and doing. Show me if my workload or my worries are making me weary and help me trust You with both. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
"The car won't start," said a wife to her husband. "I think there's water in the carburetor."
"How do you know?" said the husband scornfully. "You don't even know what the carburetor is."
"I'm telling you," repeated the wife, "I'm sure there's water in the carburetor."
"We'll see," mocked the husband. "Let me check it out. Where's the car?"
"In the swimming pool."