I grew up in a small cabin built by none other than my parents themselves. They had help here and there, but Dad drew up the blueprint, we moved hundreds of miles away, and they got to work. The home has yet to match the blueprint, but that's no surprise considering that a work of art is never fully finished—just as our lives will never fully finish.

 

I can remember using kerosene lamps for light, washing and drying clothes outside, hand-pumping water, carrying loads of firewood in from the snow, and chinking between each hand-raised log.

 

Change was slow and beautiful and paced. And then, one day, it wasn't.

 

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About Shelby Hughes

2017 Shelby L. Hughes | Greensburg, PA | shelbyhugheswriter@gmail.com

A Reminder to Rest

When I slow down to enjoy every mundane moment, my soul feels better rested. I may be a mess physically. I WILL be a mess physically. As I sit here typing these words, I wear sweat pants, a t-shirt stained with spit-up, and the messiest hair bun "unknown" to man.

 

Physically, I'm a mess and so is the living room and kitchen hiding behind me. We won't even talk about the mountain of dishes covered in chocolate and soaking in water. After waking to feed my baby twice through the night combined with the trouble of going back to sleep, I could certainly use a nap.

 

But in this mess, I pause, because when both children are napping, I MUST spend time with Jesus and give you these words. I desire to bring hope into your situation today. Today, I hope that you'll attain the same rest my soul experiences though chaos screams behind me, chaos that must be taken care of in a bit, but for now, this is where we both need to be. 

 

I think Jesus was thinking of the exhausted soul burned out on the daily and mundane when he said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

 

In this passage, Jesus isn't saying, "kick up your feet, chill, and do as little work as possible all day long." I mean, who has the luxury of doing that on the daily, right? Rather, Jesus is speaking to the one racing around, burned out on the daily, and he offers rest. He's speaking to the one jumping from one fiery hoop to another while onlookers gaze at her nonstop life and the concerned look on her face as she wonders when the circus will end so she can breathe. And breathe, free from the hectic, the routine, the life.

 

I've read this passage of scripture a thousand times, have heard it preached from pulpits on multiple occasions. This is one I know by heart, but had never fully digested until now. Perhaps that's because in this season of raising little ones with little time to breathe, I desperately NEED rest more than ever before. But this rest needed is not in the form of relaxation, though I could certainly use any kind of rest afforded. The rest needed is in the form of fulfillment. Hear it again. Fulfillment. It's where my soul receives rest, not necessarily my body. Are you with me? You'll want to remember this next sentence even if the others fly out of your mind.

 

 

 

Jesus offers soul rest, and it's fulfilling. No amount of physical rest, from spa days to couch potato days to sleeping away the days, will ever bring the best rest that comes by way of Jesus.

 

This is what he's saying to our worn out bodies and worn out souls: "Side with me by taking on the same yoke that I am in, this same harness used for working. The load will be light because I will be right beside you, and you can learn more than you ever have about me in the process, finding the rest that your soul needs to continue on with the difficulty that life brings. Go ahead. Take off the yoke of stress, the yoke of anxiety, the yoke of pressure, the yoke of bondage, etcetera, etcetera. Be meek and lowly with me. Learn what it means to come to the end of yourself physically but be fully rested spiritually. Let's work together, because in doing so, I promise that you will receive rest. Soul rest."

 

Take a moment, here and now, to consider which yoke you live under. If you're not under a yoke with Jesus, you'll never experience the fulfilling rest that only he offers. And friends, I desperately long for you to experience this rest. 

 

 

 

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