True Rest in the New Year
By Emilie Hendryx
By Emilie Hendryx
I have heard so many people say that 2013 was a difficult year for them. I'd have to agree and think, as I look back, that I am glad to be moving into a new year. As I look back, the thing I've chosen to focus on is how I handle being busy.
I am one of those people who can't say no. Can you relate? A need arises and I'm usually the one to say, "Yes, sign me up." Over this last year, this 'yes-mentality' has gotten me into more sticky situations laced with frustration than I'd like to recount. That, and my tendency to create things to do when I could take a few hours to relax, have caused my life to spiral into a hectic swirl of busyness and activity that hasn't always resulted in the spiritual or relational growth that I'd hoped for.
The other night I was reading through Matthew and came across these familiar verses:
"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.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)
I've read this passage before--even studied it--but being on the verge of a new year, these verses held a weight I hadn't anticipated. I have been laboring and heavy laden with many things, ministry and work-related. I have found myself burnt out and frustrated at times and desiring to escape from it all. But the thing I started to realize as I read the passage again was that I was trying to escape in the wrong way to the wrong thing.
The answer to my busy schedule and frustration isn't to get away to a magical land that holds no responsibly or constraints on my time. It actually has nothing to do with the situation I'm in, but rather everything to do with my heart.
Jesus says to come to Him.
He doesn't say to winnow your schedule down so you have lots of "me" time. He also doesn't say to focus on yourself to find the happiness and rest you desire. Instead, He tells us to take action to find that rest.
We must take on His yoke and learn from Him.
I think too often we idealize an existence of nothing, thinking "Oh, wouldn't it be great if I had nothing to do all of the time." That's not what true rest is. True rest is found only in Christ and only through accepting His burden, which He says is easy and light.
I challenge you in this new year to seek Him and nothing else. You may not be meant to change situations, but He will help you change your heart right where you are. Seek Him, and you will find true rest.
Emilie is a small town girl who moved to the big city. Now living in Los Angeles, she is a writer, photographer/owner at E.A. Creative Photography, and a musician. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers organization and loves to read and write Christian fiction in addition to writing her blog Thinking Thoughts. She believes in doing all things for God’s glory (1 Cor. 10:31) and her passion for Christ fuels everything she does. She also likes spending time with the girls from the high school youth group she volunteers with and, in her free time, you can find her curled up with a book and a cup of coffee.
She says, "I don't have a book to promote, just my blog: eahendryx.blogspot.com which is titled: Thinking Thoughts and is a great place for readers and authors. I feature author interviews every Wednesday and do book reviews as well as posts about writing and occasional practical, every-day theology posts."
Check it out and watch for her name on books.