Monday, August 5, 2013

Tired? Exhausted? Here's Hope for Peace and Rest

It was late when I finally finished eating dinner. Tired, bleary-eyed from a long week at work, I opened the kitchen cupboard to put away my leftover spaghetti, and stopped suddenly.
What am I doing?
I shook my head and laughed, and put the food in the refrigerator where it belonged. I was exhausted. The past few months had been a whirlwind, and tension was taking its toll.
Of course, putting Italian food in the wrong place was the least of it. Most nights I was up late working, folding laundry, or doing “one more thing” before bed wondering why the days were so long and the nights so short. 
I don’t think I’m the only one who has too much to do and never enough time.
In the exhaustion of daily living, we often complain, “There’s so much to do, and never enough time” instead of saying a quiet prayer, “Lord, I am so tired. Please help me.”
And that’s exactly what God will do when you ask Him.
Rest brings margin to your life, spaces that allow you to replenish and restore beauty and balance. Without it, life is an endless cycle of work, chores and errands. And that’s not what God intended. Joy, peace, fun and play are essential parts of life, too. 
Eugene Peterson explains the “unforced rhythms of grace” in The Message Bible:  
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. (Jesus, in Matthew 11:28-30)
Lord, my hands are full and my mind is reeling with so many things to do. Will you please order my days and help me to get stuff done and find time to rest? As I work, help me to be productive and peaceful. As I love others, help me be calm and encouraging. I need Your peace in every area of my life today. Help me to find JOY despite my circumstances. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
(For more information on finding rest and relief from busyness and stress, check out "Powerful Prayers for Challenging Times" by Jackie M. Johnson.)