Come unto me, all [ye] that labour 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. - Matthew 11:28 - 29.
Close to nine years ago, I suffered a loss. My grandfather, whom I was very close to, died. For years, I had dreams of his passing, but none of them prepared me for the harsh reality of the situation. I was devastated.
When I am under stress, I don’t eat well nor do I sleep well. This time was no exception. I had been up for days with only a few hours of sleep in between when I collapsed in complete exhaustion.
Then one night I was reading my Bible and Matthew 11:28-29 jumped out at me. For some reason, that Scripture gave me comfort, and I slept through the night.
Recently, though, I have felt a prompting in my spirit to study that word rest. What does it really mean? Does it mean going to sleep? Does it mean not doing anything? What does it really entail?
I went to an online Bible study center and looked up the word rest as it is used in Matthew 11:28-29 in the Greek.
The transliterated word for rest here is Anapauo, which means 1. to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labour in order to recover and collect his strength, 2. to give rest, refresh, to give one's self rest, take rest, 3. to keep quiet, of calm and patient expectation.
For most of us, when we are under stress or in a crisis, we are always doing something. We are always striving to make things right, to make things happen for us. As a result, our strength is depleted.
And I know that when I am under stress, I usually say things that I regret, snap at the people I love and if I am frustrated, I might start complaining–very loudly.
But this word rest means to keep quiet and have a calm and patient expectation that God is working on our behalf.
Some times we have to just learn to keep our mouths shut. We need to quiet ourselves and trust that God is in control, that He knows what He is doing.
We need to stop doing God’s job. Our job is to bring our need before Him (Philippians 4:6), do everything we can (Ephesians 6:13) and have a calm and patient expectation that He will come through on our behalf. Not because we deserve it but because we are His children...because He loves us and is on our side.
We need to remember that All things work together for good to them that love Him and are called according to His purpose.
I challenge you to go around and say, as I am learning to do, “Lord, I don’t know what You are doing, but I trust You.”
At first you will say it by faith, but eventually, it will become a reality in your life.