Perhaps one of the most common acronyms in the English language, ‘R.I.P.’ evokes memories of loved ones lost, eulogies for famous musicians on Facebook, and even corny yard decorations at Halloween. This condolence and outward expression of our inner sorrow and grief wishes a peaceful eternity to those whom we have loved and lost. The original Latin phrase, “requiescat in pace,” means “may he or she rest in peace.”
So, is it a given that you have to die to truly rest in peace?
In my crazy, loud, messy, chaotic household, I have asked myself this question…especially on this first week of summer break! Peace and quiet are a commodity around here. And then there’s the real anxiety and worry. What would I do if I ever lost my husband? Could I handle the death of a child? Am I a good enough wife and mother? Do people like me? Everyday stresses of work and finances alone cause unrest in most households, ours included.
In a recent sermon at Christ Community Church, Pastor Tom Nelson expressed that our cultural landscape is well described as ‘restless.’ No amount of massages, date nights sans kids or vacations will ever bring us true rest and peace. Anxiety and restlessness creep into our moments of quiet and erupt in the middle of our chaos.
Tom noted that even the Huff Post has addressed the subject. In an article titled, “5 Signs You’re Restless With Your Life (and What to Do About It),” Kevin Klatches writes that if you are feeling restless, you should “consider it a warning sign from your soul to take action.” He suggests, “Don’t settle for restlessness…The universe is calling on you to take action. Listen to it.”
He’s so right. The universe is calling on us to take action. The Creator of the Universe gently calls to us…
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke…and you will find rest for your souls.” -Matthew 11: 28-29
Are you living with a restless heart? Is there an unsettling discontent or anxiety that marks your life? Do you feel emotionally and spiritually weary?
In his book, The Life We Long to Live: the yoke, Tom Nelson warns us that “…our thirsty souls are chasing mirages…” We hang out in the desert while the One who offers streams of healing waters bids us to come.
Isaiah 58:11 promises, “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
My only hope for a rested soul is when I seek the transforming presence of God regularly…when I open my heart and let Him meet me where I am – often tired, weary and anxious.
This summer, whether we find ourselves in a sun-scorched land or a pool of anxiety, may we hear the Creator of the Universe beckoning, “Be still and know that I am God,” Psalm 46:10.
Because we don’t have to die to rest in peace.
*This song, “Come To Me“, by Bethel Music is worth a listen at least once, maybe a hundred times…
“…I am the Lord your peace…
Steady now your heart and mind
Come into my rest…
And lift up your weary head
I am with you
Wherever you go
Come to me, I’m all you need
Come to me, I’m everything…”
Oh Lauren, Wise beyond your years again! My devotional today was Psalm 16:11 “You will make know to me to the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever..” How blessed is your family that you realize that now and will teach it to them! They got a most special mother and wife!!! Love you!
Thanks for your encouragement:-) That verse has been an encouragement to me as well. We are thankful for each turn on our path and appreciate when we realize the true source of our fullness of joy.
Great thoughts for the beginning of summer!
Just wish it was summer in the same (SoCal) city as you!
So timely, Lauren! We just read a devotional this morning that focused on submission and rest…. and it included Matthew 11:28-29! I appreciated this interpretation of taking on a yoke: “Taking on a yoke implies being united to another in order to work together. Those who are yoked together must go in the same direction; by doing so, their work is made considerably easier.” What a beautiful way to think about how we and God are united in this way, and how we can find rest in Him as we open ourselves to His Presence and Peace. And also…how we can be joined together as friends united in Christ, encouraging one another, and even bearing one another’s burdens. Your writing is so deep and inspiring! Thank you for sharing….
Yes, that is a beautiful picture! Thanks for sharing. And thank you for your encouragement and sweet friendship.