Jesus wins – with rest and strength

On my desk at work is a small sign that says, “Jesus is the Answer.” I was inspired to get it by a friend who has the same sign on his desk. Sometimes people ask him, “The answer to what?” And he answers, “What’s the question?”

In your heart is a place where you think about your hopes and dreams for your family. You could put that same sign in that place.

Here are some questions Jesus is the answer to when it comes to your family. You’ll have to decide if this is just Bible talk, or if these are real promises from a real Person who always keeps his promise.

Do you need rest?

Rest from hard work? From family responsibilities? From disappointment? From lack of appreciation or credit? Rest from feeling like you need to hold everything together? Rest from hopelessness or drudgery?

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.

– Matthew 11:28-30

When I feel deep weariness pushing me into negativity, I remind myself – sometimes out loud – that Jesus promises rest when I come to him. Does my deep weariness mean I haven’t come to him? If my burden feels heavy, where has that come from? He says the heaviness is not from him.

This kind of ‘rest’ doesn’t mean you stop working at things. You’re still active and putting out effort. But your effort comes from trust in Jesus’ energy, and you’ve dropped carrying the burden for how it all turns out. Yes, you can find rest in the middle of great effort.

Over time, this kind of rest becomes contagious in a family. Sure you might talk about it, but the biggest way it spreads is by family members attracted by the rest they observe in you.

Do you need strength?

Maybe you’re all the cliches: out of gas, end of your rope, can’t go on, done for, dog tired, no more to give, running on empty, plus you’re trying to squeeze blood from a turnip . . . 

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

– Isaiah 40.31

When I feel exhausted, sometimes (not often enough) I ask God, does this mean I’m not waiting on you? And by an act of my will I say that I will wait and trust him and believe that he wants to give the strength I need.

To me, waiting is not sitting down and drumming my fingers. I cease my expectation of finding any more strength in myself and pick up the expectation that any more will have to come from him.

This is usually a transaction that takes only a few seconds, but it’s a definite act of my will by faith. Sometimes it’s only a word – Lord? And I find the strength I need – not indefinitely – but for the immediate thing at hand.

Always surprises me, but never should.

Sometimes the best thing for your family is for YOU to find rest and strength.

What would most benefit your family right now FROM YOU – rest or strength? What’s one small step you could take right now to move in that direction?

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A Family Like Yours is 31 Days of encouragement to help you appreciate, influence, and love the family you have (no matter what).

This is day 14.

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About the Author

Gary

Gary Morland helps you feel better about your most challenging family relationships, and helps you actually improve those relationships - all by adopting simple attitudes, perspectives, expectations, and actions (the same ones that changed him and his family).

Comments

  1. Pam Cason

    Timely words today, Gary. Thank you for this. REST would most definitely benefit my family the most right now. May HE remind me to lean into HIM.

  2. Krista Danielle Casada

    Thanks.

  3. Ashley

    You are an inspiration. Thanks for reminding me where my struggles and my strength come from. Too often I push ahead with my own plans, forgetting that a master plan is already laid out. I am often frustrated that I work with no results or worse, that I have somehow lost ground. I needed to be reminded that God is the leader on this journey, not me.

  4. m

    Two of my most favorite scriptures…On (Canadian Thanksgiving) I say, ” Thank you for the reminder, & give thanks for your wisdom in my life!”
    Blessings & <3
    M
    Ps. I choose; Rest…kinda not so good @ this:)

  5. lyricpdx

    It’s a funny conundrum: sometimes it takes strength to rest. What I mean by that is it can take strength to let go; an act of the will, just like you said, Gary. It feels like a big *exhale* to me, this letting go; but at the bottom of that exhale, when all my hot air’s been expelled and my diaphragm is empty and small….that’s where I find the rest. God’s there in that place waiting for me, waiting to fill me. So…which do I and my family need right now? Strength. And rest amid the strength, for I find they work in tandem. Thank you, Gary for another thought-provoking post. What a blessing you are to so many!

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