A Mother’s Rest
BY LAURA WAREING
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30
REST. What mom doesn’t long for this wonderful state of quietness, peace and refreshment? But as a mom, rest can seem so elusive. Each season of motherhood often brings with it deep exhaustion—whether it be from meeting the never-ending physical demands of your precious infant, constantly training and retraining your non-compliant toddler, consistently pointing your elementary-aged child’s heart upward as they navigate school and fickle friendships, listening to and exhorting your teen as they grapple with deep spiritual questions and amped up hormones, or counseling and praying with your adult child as they make their own life choices. All of this motherhood stuff can be so heavy, can’t it? Life-crushing, heart-wrenching, back-breaking heavy. Can you feel it? Can you feel the heart weight? It is exhausting. We can’t do it. We can’t be the perfect mom. Our dreams of having our praises sung on a gilded Mother’s Day card fall flat because we know the words would be hypocritical at best. We can’t control our children’s hearts. We can’t fix their problems and give them joy. We can’t eradicate rebellion from their wandering hearts. We can’t even truly fulfill our role as mother well because of our own pride and selfishness. We need rest. We need life-giving, heart-healing, peace-filling rest. But where are we to find this REST?
Can you feel it? Can you feel the heart weight? It is exhausting. We can’t do it. We can’t be the perfect mom … We need life-giving, heart-healing, peace-filling rest.
“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” Genesis 2:2
For the mom who is a child of God, we can better understand where to find this rest by looking back to the story of our salvation. There was a time when we recognized that it was impossible to perfectly keep the laws that a holy God rightfully required of us. We wanted to keep them. We tried to keep them. And when we couldn’t keep them, we tried to at least look like we were keeping them. But they were too heavy. The law was heavy: life-crushing, heart-pressing, soul-breaking heavy. But CHRIST, the God of the universe came to this earth as a man to live the life that we could not possibly live. He fulfilled the law in every point. Matthew 5:17 tells us, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” Jesus kept the law for us, paid the sin debt we owed with his substitutionary death on the cross, and rose again from the dead making it possible for us to have true REST, to cease from our never-ending pursuit of trying to earn God’s favor. You see, our REST really is a person, and that person is Jesus, our Sabbath.
Now, Mama, it follows that, if Christ is our REST for salvation, he is also our REST in life. Is the burden of Motherhood too heavy? Are you longing for true REST? Look up. Look to Christ. Just as it is impossible for you to be perfect to obtain salvation, so it is impossible for you to be the perfect mom or the perfect anything for that matter. It’s too heavy. It’s too much. Good news! Christ is our perfection. He has freed you from the power of sin so that you can now worship Him by loving and serving others including your children. When your children make choices that break your heart, and you feel that you can’t carry the burden, look up. Find REST in the God who CAN change the heart of your child and who loves your child far more than you can ever love them. “Be careful for nothing: but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). When the mundane and usually messy responsibilities of motherhood bombard you relentlessly, and you find yourself physically exhausted, look up. Find REST in the presence of the only One who can truly give you soul-refreshment. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul:” (Psalm 23:1-3a).
Just as it is impossible for you to be perfect to obtain salvation, so it is impossible for you to be the perfect mom or the perfect anything for that matter. It’s too heavy. It’s too much. Good news! Christ is our perfection.
So, Mama, do you find yourself exhausted today, pressed down, burdened in your calling as a mother? Let me encourage you that true REST is possible, and it is not dependent on time, money, or trying harder. Rest doesn’t look like an hour of peace and quiet spent in a luxurious bubble bath. It doesn’t look like a stress-free week spent on a tropical beach somewhere. It doesn’t even look like perfectly behaved children that garner you praise as a godly mother. True REST is available anytime, anywhere. It is found when we acknowledge and spend time in the presence of Christ. True REST is a person, and His name is Jesus.
True REST is a person, and His name is Jesus.
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