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Week 1 (Resilience Requires Rest) - Day 4

Posted by The River on

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 
Matthew 11:28

Begin

All this week, begin by slowing yourself in mind and body. Slowing helps to invite awareness of both God and yourself. If it helps you to move while you pray and reflect, consider a slow walk.

Intentional, deep breathing is especially helpful to slow us, and combining your breath with one of the names for God as a simple prayer (Jesus, Shepherd, Healer,...) helps to open a conscious connection with God. (If you’d like to know a bit more about what you’re doing here and how others practice it, you might enjoy this article:  Take Time for Breath Prayer | WomenLeaders.com)

Begin with 2 minutes (setting a timer is helpful) of deep, slow breaths with your prayer word. Feel free to go longer as time and desire permits.

As you finish your “breath prayers,” spend another (at least) 2 minutes noticing yourself today. Notice anything you notice, but, in particular: What do you notice in your body today? Do you find pain?...tension?...peace?...energy?

Scripture

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 
Matthew 11:28

These words of Jesus may be familiar to you. They’re among the more popular and often quoted things Jesus said. They reflect what we see in Elijah’s experience. Elijah came to God with a prayer of despairing exhaustion, and God met him with rest: deep, extended sleep and “home-cooked” meals. 

What is your heart’s response to Jesus’ words of invitation in Matthew 11 today? Take a moment to listen for your deeper, perhaps more honest, response. What is your level of belief about how possible it is for you to find the rest you need, to live a more resilient life, fed by deep rest?

Talk with God as you would talk with a friend about what you need, and take the risk to listen for a while to what God wants to say to you.  

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 
Matthew 11:29-30

Part of the secret to a life lived from a rested place is to learn from Jesus how Jesus did it. Remember that, while fully God, Jesus was also fully human in his days on earth. He experienced human limitation. How did Jesus live in rest in the midst of all the work and travel and conflict and resistance he faced? 

Perhaps you’re familiar enough with the life of Jesus to readily think of a picture from his life that you would like to learn from again as you follow God’s invitation to rest. What story or aspect of Jesus’ life would that be? If one doesn’t come quickly to mind, consider extending your time now or planning another time soon to read through one of the Gospels (Mark is shortest!) with this question in mind.

Bonus Activity 

Engage yourself and today’s scripture creatively. Draw/Paint/Collage a picture that represents your current experience of Matthew 11:28. It might be a picture of your weariness and burden and/or of the rest you desire. It can be realistic or abstract. It does not have to win any “art awards!” It is a way to connect with yourself and with hope, a way to pray. Consider sharing it with a trusted person in your life.

Sharing

Scripture wisely instructs us to make the spiritual journey with others for the help and support of companionship. As you invest time in personal reflection, invest also in communal connection. Join our 12 PM Zoom Challenge Gathering today (and everyday, Monday - Friday) and/or with your household, your small group, a friend,...

  • Do the “Bonus Activity” together. Kids could get in on this one!
  • Read one of the Gospels out loud together and talk about how you see Jesus living from rest.

Join us on Zoom: Monday - Friday at 12 PM

Meeting ID: 818 5542 9409
Passcode: resilience

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