Finding rest in the busyness

“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. 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 11:28-30, NIV) 

This verse impressed itself on my heart over this year. God has been teaching me the essence of the verse, and I believe it is a verse relevant to every woman today. 

Life is busy. Maybe it is because you live in a busy city (like Sydney), maybe you’re juggling work and study, maybe you invest a significant amount of time in church life (amazing! Thank you!), or perhaps you have dependents. I know Jesus wants us to live abundant lives and walk into God-ordained opportunities, but I don’t think He intended us to do this hyped up on coffee and just making it through. 

Maybe it is me, but I feel this sense that as women we are to have it all together. What I’ve learnt is that few of us do have it all together, and nor will we ever. In fact, it relieved me when I was chatting to a senior Pastor who said that there will always be a juggle in our lives, and constant self-reflection on whether you’re doing too much. 

So, what can we do? How do we experience true rest that Jesus offers? 

I have been guilty of believing the lie that I, and other women, have it together when we don’t. Let’s not pretend, but instead ask God into the midst of our mess and may the Lord let us come undone, so we see His work. May we understand that surrendering to God isn’t weak, but is a fierce act of love. In surrendering we put our hope in God and the plans He has for us. If you need some advice on surrendering I suggest reading Beck Quee’s blog post Surrender

I have found that morning devotions are great, but we need to seek Him throughout our day. When I’m working in the hospital and the shift is busy I will choose to eat lunch alone, outside, listening to worship music or birdsong. I find myself refreshed in His presence. 

Intentional moments of spending time with Jesus are essential. To me, these look like sitting on my bed, in silence or with worship music playing, and waiting. I have had to have moments where I visualise the cross and myself at the foot of the cross placing the burden down. Then, I have to keep reminding myself that the burden is no longer mine, and that Jesus doesn’t want me to live a life weighed down with burdens. 

You are in control of your life! Shauna Niequist, in Present over Perfect, tells of a young pastor who had concerns regarding how he would seat all the members of his growing church and a senior pastor said, “well, the people kept coming because you kept putting the chairs out” We think striving for a goal to be bigger and better is good, and it is, but not when you feel constantly stretched by its demands. You decide where your time goes, and if you feel stretched maybe it’s time to take some of the chairs in your life down? 

Get out of your routine, your everyday world, and spend time with God on an intentional holiday with Him. At the start of the year I did this, with one friend, where we spent time in worship and waiting on God. I vividly recall how close God felt in a moment where we sat, in silence, in the middle of this amazing garden. We returned rested and our spirits strengthened. 

If I can tell you one thing it would be this: Jesus was a man in demand, but He never became worn down by the work He was called to. Neither should we. 
Praying that in this season of busyness you would find true rest, that you would experience Jesus carrying the burdens you’ve carried this year. That you would come to walk in your area of influence with a lightness and freedom that comes from an intimate relationship with Him.

About Isla Hadley
Isla is a member and leader at C3 City Church, who has just finished a Diploma of Leadership and Ministry at C3 College. She has a passionate heart for God, loves people and showing hospitality, which ties beautifully with her work as a nurse. Many times you will find Isla with her head in a book or wandering at the beach listening to a Podcast.