Rest and Renewal

Rest, Renewal

By Marilyn Pritchard

“The Lord is my shepherd;

I have all that I need.

He lets me rest in green meadows;

He leads me beside peaceful streams.

He renews my strength.”

(Psalm 23:1-3a, NLT)

Do you need renewal? Does your soul need restoring?

God designed our bodies to need rest, and He knew our souls needed it, too. He modeled it for us when He created the world (Gen. 2:2). In fact, rest was so important that He commanded the Israelites to observe a Sabbath rest every week (Ex. 20:8-11).

Jesus, also, took time to rest. He often went off “to lonely places” to spend time with His Father (Luke 5:16) and recharge His batteries for ministry, and He taught His disciples to do the same (Mark 6:31-32).

Jesus says, “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.” (Matt. 11:28-29). 

How can taking on a yoke actually lift your burdens? When training a young animal to pull a large load, farmers would often yoke it with a larger, more experienced animal so that the more experienced animal would carry the bulk of the weight while the smaller one was learning. When we “yoke” ourselves to Jesus, He bears our worldly burdens while giving us the lighter burden of learning humility and gentleness from Him. By humbly submitting to His authority, our souls find rest.

If you are feeling weary, stop and take an assessment of why you are tired. Are you trying to do things in your own strength instead of relying on the Holy Spirit? Have you been placing too many expectations on yourself and not giving your body and spirit time to rest? By laying our burdens at Jesus’ feet and taking up His yoke instead, we submit ourselves to His will and no longer have to perform for His approval, or anyone else’s for that matter.

Just Between Us (JBU) wants to help you find rest and renewal. You may need to seek out a “lonely place” where you can meet with Jesus, or you may simply need to take a Sabbath rest from the busyness of life to restore your soul. “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Is. 40:31). Take some time today to peruse the articles compiled here, and wait for the Lord to renew your strength.

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