by Crystal Bowman
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 NIV
My two-year-old granddaughter was beyond tired and in desperate need of a nap—but she didn’t want to take a nap. I knew it was exactly what she needed and that nothing else was going to help her cranky disposition. As I carried her upstairs to her bedroom, she kicked and screamed, “No Gigi! No nap!”
Once inside her bedroom, my granddaughter refused to lie down in her toddler bed. She sat on the floor in bold defiance, with her arms crossed and a scowl on her face. There was no way she was going to lie down! I took her Minnie Mouse pillow from her bed and put it on the plush rug where she was sitting. I laid down on the rug and tried to coax her into my open arms. She refused to comply. As she sat next to me with her arms still crossed, I began stroking her hair and gently singing “Jesus Loves Me.” Her stiff body finally relaxed, and she fell asleep sitting up! Then she toppled into my open arms and settled in for a much-needed nap.
Two hours later, my granddaughter woke up with a smile on her face. She was sweet, calm, happy, refreshed, and ready to play. My precious angel was back.
We never outgrow our need for rest, but we often push ourselves to keep going because we have things to accomplish. If we look at the Scriptures, we can find many references to rest. The Bible begins with the story of creation, which God accomplished in six days. On the seventh day, God rested. In Exodus 20, God gives the Ten Commandments to Moses. The fourth commandment says to work for six days and then refrain from work on the Sabbath day to rest and worship.
The Gospels give an account of Jesus’ life on earth. He kept a busy schedule traveling with His disciples through towns and villages. They had little time to rest since crowds followed them around seeking physical and spiritual healing. In Mark 6:31, Jesus tells His disciples, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (NIV).
Resting not only allows us to recharge our bodies, but it’s also refreshing for our souls. When we take time to rest, we can commune with God without all the distractions and chaos that surround us. God knows we need rest, and He offers to carry our burdens so that we can rest both physically and emotionally.
When I am stressed, weary, tired, and overwhelmed—like my two-year-old granddaughter—God is beside me. He speaks softly and gently, calling me to rest in his open arms. When I surrender to Him and give Him my cares and concerns, I find refreshment and peace for my body and soul.
Are you weary today? Maybe it’s time for a nap!
This article is brought to you by the Advance Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Crystal Bowman is a bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 books including, Our Daily Bread for Kids. She and her husband have three married children and seven huggable grandchildren.
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Join the conversation. Do you make rest a priority? Why or why not?