“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30 The Message
The whole Bible can be narrowed down to two main commands: “Love God!” and “Love people!” We are all familiar with loving people, we understand that loving people is all about being there for others through both the good times and the bad times. Loving God can seem a bit more difficult, how can we love an invisible God? We love God simply by spending time with him. We can talk to God through prayer and we can read his word in the Bible.
Establishing a routine of opening up the Bible and reading it for a few minutes each morning is a great way to ensure that we will start the day with a peaceful heart. Reading God’s word daily helps us stay focused on what matters throughout the day, it helps us stay self-controlled, kind, gentle, patient and loving. As a new Christian I had a hard time understanding the Bible in the beginning so I loved reading devotions, which helped me understand different passages in the Bible.
Last week I bought a new devotional book called “Peace for Today” by Sheila Walsh. This book has devotions that help me find peace every morning. A devotion is a short text about a particular topic followed by a few Bible references on the same topic. The devotion explains what a short passage in scripture means so that it becomes easy to understand it. Once I understand a passage I can see how it relates to my own life today.
This morning I read a great devotion called “When the journey is too much”. It’s a devotion about the importance of taking time to rest in between everything important that we are doing in our lives. God is not a demanding God, God understands our limits and he wants us to take time to rest. Sheila Walsh writes about how we have all experienced exhaustion at some point in our lives, even the mighty prophet Elijah in the Bible experienced this. So what did God do when Elijah got exhausted? Here’s what Sheila writes in “Peace for Today” (pages 32-33):
“Immediately after his desperate prayer, Elijah fell asleep under the broom tree (v.5); he was exhausted. And what did God do? He didn’t lecture Elijah about his calling or tell him to toughen up. No. Instead, God tenderly cared for Elijah.”
I find it helpful to know that although I live in a world that places a lot of demands on me, God is not a demanding God. God won’t ask me to push myself beyond my limits. God has given me a body with limits for a reason, a body that needs rest, sleep, food and time alone. When we learn to listen to our bodies’ signals, and choose to give our bodies what they need, we are honoring God with our bodies and lives. God is not asking us to live lives where we are constantly sleep deprived, stressed, and unhealthy. If we love God we will choose to take good care of the body he has given us.
“The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.”