and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you.
Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Matthew 11:28-29 (NLT)
We live in a busy world with many responsibilities. Adults struggle with family commitments while juggling two jobs, raising children, and paying bills that never seem to end. Students carry jobs and attend classes accumulating high interests on loans. The demands are sometimes overwhelming. Sometimes we expect more from a friend or family member who is single and without children, thinking they have less obligations, when in reality, they are at their limit. Parents run ragged, working and meeting deadlines, raising little ones and running children to sporting events, with no break from work, and famished by the time they prepare a meal, only to remember they promised a commitment to a friend that evening. Some adults are exhausted, putting all their efforts caring for a sick family member. No matter where we are in life, it is demanding. At times we feel as though we can’t possibly fulfill the needs of our loved ones, our bosses, our Church family, and our daily chores; the list goes on. Sometimes our list of priorities becomes jumbled. Often, we forget to take time for ourselves along with time spent with God, until we are so exhausted we fall apart and become unraveled.
No matter what stage of life we are in, it is important to take time out for ourselves, even if it’s only a few minutes a day. Caring for ourselves, both mentally and spiritually is vital to our well-being. If we go down, all those around us go down. Where are we on the list of our priorities? Are we stretching ourselves too thin?
Consider enjoying a good book an hour each night. Plan a day trip to go on that hiking trail or stop in that interesting antique shop to browse. Maybe walking or other types of exercise brings you joy and relieves stress. Contemplate on what gives you joy or peace and dedicate a few hours to yourself each week. Schedule it on the calendar.
Consider taking a few minutes each day, to reflect, meditate, or read a favorite devotional. Maybe it is during a morning cup of coffee, a reflective walk during lunch hour, or prayer before bed. Some of our burdens might be temporary, and some long term. But God is always there for us, waiting for us to come to Him. All we have to do is be still, and call His name. He wants us to have rest and peace. God has given us an open invitation to come to Him at any time, promising to provide us with rest. Make it a priority to find rest in Him.
Take time out to find joy in life and spend time with God. Both of these things are equally important to maintain peace and healthy living. At times this seems impossible, but we are no good to anyone if we are constantly on the run, exhausted, and stressed out. The benefits will spread to those around us. Stress will diminish. Make time on that to-do list. You are worth it.