For this week’s Monday Minute, Kelli shares with us the importance of resting in God so that we can rise up and serve him well!
Resting In God
by Kelli Baker
Did anyone else find themselves overwhelmed in 2020?
I sure did. After a promising beginning, things quickly took a sharp turn. It seemed our world began to shrink, from quarantining to social distancing, we were forced to remain home and at a double arms’ length with anyone outside of our immediate family. I found myself weary. Many great things came from this year, like closeness with my family and finding innovative and creative ways to connect with others. Yet, these brought their own source of stress.
The need to be home with my children was at the forefront of my mind. I knew God prepared the way for us; I just had to trust.
In January of 2020, I began to contemplate a return to full-time work since my youngest would be starting school in the fall. This would be my first full-time job since I got out of the military in 2014. I was filled with emotions! Excited by the possibility of re-entering the workforce but also sad because that meant it would be the last year with my baby.
Little did I know, God made other plans.
I would become my daughter’s pre-K teacher in the fall, while my son embarked on his own virtual learning adventure. The thought of homeschooling never once crossed my mind. I just knew I didn’t have the patience to be a good teacher.
But God knew.
The school year began without a hitch. We quickly found an excellent routine that worked for us. Both kids were thriving, very minimally impacted by the lack of outside socialization. But by October, the weight of it all fell hard on me.
My soul felt weary. Only two months in and I felt overworked. Not only did I teach full time, but I also led a virtual small group with the local military women’s ministry, was preparing to lead a virtual worship event for that same group, and was working on a few different projects for Planting Roots.
The weight of all the expectations I had placed on myself felt so heavy on my shoulders. I began to question whether I was good enough.
Soon, I realized that I couldn’t do it all alone.
2 Corinthians 12:9 started to play in my head.“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I needed to lean on the Lord to lead and guide me.
Well, what does resting in God?
I needed to take a step back and reevaluate my daily and monthly schedules. I needed discernment about what I should be doing and help to prioritize my time. And I needed to realize that not every good thing was my thing and it’s impossible to meet every single need that came my way. But most of all, I needed rest.
Was I finding time to rest? Not just sleep but rest for my soul.
There’s always so much talk about taking time for ourselves – exercise daily, take a bath, do yoga, read a book, get your nails done, none of which are bad things. However, these are more “self-care” rather than “soul-care.” We tend to neglect “soul care.” It’s a necessity to take the time to tend to our souls and allow them to rest in Jesus.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28-30:
“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.”
Notice he says, “those who labor and are heavy laden.” Do you feel like you are constantly laboring? Between preparing meals, doing the laundry, and keeping the house clean, taking care of a household is a full-time job. And what about the women who work outside of the home? Then, there are extracurricular activities, appointments, service and volunteer responsibilities and the list goes on.
In those moments when you feel overwhelmed by your laborious plate, stop.
Just stop for a moment to remember what Jesus said. “Come to me… take my yoke upon you and learn from me… and your soul will find rest for your souls.” Pour out your overwhelmed heart to Jesus. Take a deep breath, or several, and cry out to your Father who is waiting on you to surrender your burden to him. Lay it at his feet and allow him to teach you how to find rest for your soul.
He says he is “gentle and lowly in heart.” He wants to provide the soul care we need. He’s just waiting on us to recognize we can’t fulfill every commitment on our own. We must come to him for discernment, so he can gracefully guide us.
Pause Rest in Jesus’ presence and meditate on the Word. The Message translation says, “Jesus’ presence is breathing room for your soul” (Psalm 62:2). Take a few minutes to meditate on a scripture or passage and make breathing room for your soul. If you need help with this, check out podcasts like “The Daily Still” that calm your mind by walking you through guided meditations in the Word.
Pray Ask the Lord for discernment about how to organize your calendar. Ask the Lord to reveal to you the areas where we may need to take a step back and reevaluate. Remember, not every good thing is your thing. And that’s okay!
Lord, thank you for promising to never leave or forsake us. Thank you for listening and being there for us when we feel overwhelmed. Remind us to come to you first before making commitments so we don’t find ourselves spread thin. Teach us how to find rest in you. Amen.
For more great tools for resting in God, visit the Planting Roots Health Resources Page.