Hello again, Relentless Students! I hope you're finding some fun ways to pass the time during this quarantine. If you need some ideas, go and check out our Facebook page for a fun challenge to keep you busy this week! Alright, today is day 24 of our 30-day Devo. Our practice has shifted from serving to a prayer of examen. The idea is with each prayer to reflect on your day-to-day life in conversation with God and ask for wisdom throughout the week. Our passage today is found in Matthew 11:28-30 which says, "Come to me, all 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.” Have you ever heard of rest in music? When reading sheet music you may come across a symbol that means to take a rest. In music, a rest is a moment of absolute silence. You stop playing your instrument. So, for some pieces all sound stops, for others, certain instruments pause to highlight quieter ones, etc. For a lot of us, rest escapes us. Our minds are constantly rambling on and on about something. Maybe you're a daydreamer who imagines all sorts of happy scenarios in your head. Maybe you struggle with anxiety and each day is filled with preemptive conversations so you know what to expect or spiraling wondering what's the point of ____. The idea of rest being true silence is almost unnerving. Yet, it is quite alluring.
Jesus is preaching in the passage above and is talking about the stressfulness of life and how he can offer rest. How do we receive said rest? By giving over the stress in our lives to him and taking on what he offers. We are told in doing so our souls will find rest. We can experience silence. The idea is to give to God all that causes stress and anxiety and allow Him to fill us with peace and joy. Thus, our minds can be silent, due to the security felt in Him. For some of us, just knowing God has our backs lightens the load enough that we can find some rest. Then there are some that know they can trust God, but can't find the rest they seek. This is where we have to ask, a) do I actually trust God, or am I just saying it and b) is there more going on in my head than just a lack of faith, such as a chemical imbalance? There are times that to find rest we must trust in God and allow for things such as counseling or medication to play a role as part of trusting Him. During days like these, it can be so hard to find rest. Between the quarantine, social media, the weather. Everything feels like it is swallowing us whole and our minds just keep running circles. You are not alone, regardless if you have found rest or not. So, where are you? Have you been able to find rest and experience the quiet? Or have you been stuck with the loudness of your thoughts unable to find rest? If you fall into the second one, what have you tried? Is it a trust issue or a chemical issue? Pursue God and ask trusted people, such as your pastor, what steps to take in order to find rest. Today's challenge is to ask yourself if you have found rest and if not to talk to someone trusted about what is the next step. Under the 30-day Devo tab, there is a short guided prayer that goes with today, engage with it, and journal about your time with God. Our prayer today, God, we come to you thankful for who you have been, who you are, and who you will forever be. We ask that you give us rest. Take our burden and give us yours. May we experience your yoke, as it is much lighter then what we carry each day. Help us to find our rest, as only you can provide. We love you and know regardless of the noise in our lives that you love us immensely. We pray all of this in your Son's holy name, Amen.