I turned on my television a few weeks ago to watch some of the Olympics.
When I turned it on the men’s water polo semi-final match was on. These men are
treading water and not allowed to touch the bottom of the pool, while trying to
throw a ball into a net. On top of those difficult obstacles, the players around are
constantly pushing one another underwater. As I sat there watching these men I
couldn’t help but think how fast I would die if I had to play in a match. I even fancy
myself to be a pretty good swimmer!
I can just imagine myself just barely keeping my lips out of the water so I
can catch a breath of air. Too often life feels the same way. We all reach those times
where the tread on our tires seems to be getting thin. Maybe our attention and
energy are being given to schoolwork, sports, or picking the kids up from those
things. Or those leaves always seem to end up in your yard no matter how many
times you rake them. Maybe work seems to really be putting a lot of pressure on
you right now, or maybe you’re just scraping by financially. And then in your “free
time” there is always something that needs to be cleaned or fixed. Those times are
overwhelming, and those nights are often restless. You feel like you are in a pool
gasping for air.
What you need is rest. Not a rest, where you will be thrown back in the pool
as soon as you gain your breath, but true rest. The type of deep, holistic rest that can
only be found in God. Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He says, “I will give you rest.” That is a
promise. Nothing sounds more relaxing than finding rest in the warm, loving arms
of God. And all we have to do is come to Him. We just need to spend time with Him,
in His presence.
Is there anything more peaceful and rejuvenating than sitting in the presence
of God? He promises to give us true, deep, fulfilling rest. Yet so often we try to
figure everything out on our own. We try to continue treading that water as long as
we possibly can. All the while, God is sitting on the edge of the pool with His hand
reaching down to pull us out to find true rest in his presence.
“Come to me… and I will give you rest.”