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Find Rest in the Pause


Are you tired? I have been for months now. I’m suffering from post shut-down syndrome.



This is a sub-set of symptoms from having lived through this crazy pandemic of the past (almost) two years now. This syndrome does not even require you to have actually had Covid-19. If you are alive on this planet earth, you most likely are suffering from it’s symptoms.   



Symptoms of Shut-down Syndrome:



  1. Bone weary tiredness.

  2. Confusion...caused from an overload of an ever-changing, “Do this”... “Don’t do this” messaging.

  3. Anxiety.

  4. Relational Disconnect.

  5. Grief. 

  6. Toilet paper shortage….WHAT????


This is not an article telling you specifics of what to do in order to live through this, or any, pandemic. It’s not about whether or not to get a vaccine or how to get healthy. It’s not about the ‘science’ of it. No...I just want to tell you a little of what God has been teaching me in all of this mess. 



 The Lord God has given Me the tongue of those who are


 instructed to know how to sustain the weary with a word. 


Isaiah 50:4a



My journey, especially in the past few months, has caused me to pause in the moment. To stop listening to the blaring voices in the news and social media in order to resync my heart and mind with God’s voice. It has caused me to stop and consider that this is a universal syndrome and those steps that I listed, well all but the toilet paper one, have their own list of symptoms to process. So what am I learning in this pause? 



Into the Word



He awakens Me each morning; 


He awakens My ear to listen 


like those being instructed.


Isaiah 50:4b



I am blessed to be able to get out of bed each morning and go directly to the coffee maker to pour a freshly brewed cup of coffee...ahhh the aroma...and then go straight to my comfy chair to enjoy my coffee with Jesus. I use these first morning hours to sit with Jesus, to talk with God, to read His word, and then if I have time, to read from a book that leads me into further reflection. When I am awakened to His voice, He perks up my ears to listen and learn from His word. 



But sometimes...I am sidelined by distractions and I miss His voice. And approaching my mornings with good intentions but haphazardly allowing for distractions gets me off track. Even in spite of the fact that I am still physically going to that quiet place every morning. And I know I’ve been doing this when I feel the bone-tired weariness of living in this restless world. 



I find that it’s time to pause again. To stop and listen to the song that He sings over me. 



Listen to my voice, beloved.


You will not find rest in a restless world. 


Come and confide in Me;


I will be your rest. 



That’s just it…there is no rest to be found in a restless world. Our rest is found in God alone. And so we have to pause and rest in His wisdom. Rest in His word. Sit in the lap of your heavenly Father and listen to the song He sings over you. If you are not familiar with a loving earthly father, this might be hard to picture in your mind’s eye, but as you come to know Jesus, He will reveal the Father to you. A good and loving Father. 



Rest For the Soul



Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28-30 just where to go to find this rest for our souls,



Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves.. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.



We need rest from the burdens (yoke) that has been placed on us, or dare I say the one that we have taken upon ourselves. So what exactly does it mean to take His yoke? 



The yoke has been used as a symbol in the Bible, referring to the cattle yoke, or harness. In this passage, Jesus uses the metaphor of the common yoke to teach his disciples a lesson. I can imagine Him pointing to the cattle in the field nearby as He taught. His disciples would have had a clear image of what He was talking about. It can be a bit muddy to those of us who grew up in a city and aren’t familiar with the ancient agrarian ways. So, I did some digging and discovered that a yoke of this kind binds two cattle together so they could work in tandem. This yoke, or harness, was often larger on one side so that a larger, stronger, and more experienced animal could guide and mentor a younger animal. This would also significantly lighten the burden of the less experienced and weaker animal.  



Can you see it? No? Well, hold my purse while I slip out of this current yoke...Post-Shutdown syndrome, and slip on the yoke of Jesus and walk in tandem with Him. 



Just what is the ‘yoke’ of Jesus? What was the burden of His life...the thing He was most passionate about? He knew what He was to do from a very early age. At just 12 years old, Mary, who was in a panic over where He was, found Him in the temple complex...his answer to her chiding was this, “Didn’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business”, Luke 2:49.  In John 6:38 Jesus states, “I came not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.” So, if we are to take up His yoke, we too are to do the will of the Father.



Awaken to Hope


 


With all my heart, I want to learn from Him, so that I may find my rest in Him. There is nothing like a good rest to restore body, mind, and soul. To awaken with a fresh perspective. New hope. Ready to take on whatever challenges may come. 



Even as I walk with a renewed hope, I know that more difficulties will come. After all, Jesus also warns us that in this world we will have trouble, (John 16:33). But in the same breath, He tells us to ‘take heart’ because He has already overcome the world. He is the victor. And from this promise we can experience peace. A peace that makes no earthly sense. And you know what? It doesn’t have to when we place our trust in Him. 



But I will see Your face in righteousness; when I awake, I will be satisfied with your presence.” Psalm 75:15



Blessings,



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