Empty Nest, Abundant Life

Nag Less, Pray More

Rest for my Soul

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The above verse flits into my mind often.  I remember feeling so weary and burdened as a mother of infants and receiving comfort for by sleep-deprived self.  I remember clinging to this verse as I walked through the dark valleys of painful circumstances.

Now that the infants have grown and flown and the dark circumstances have passed, I expected that my soul would feel completely rested at all times.  I thought that having reserves of time and energy were the equivalent to rest for my soul.  Not so….

Some days, when many appointments fill my schedule and sad circumstances, my soul feels rested and at peace, and some days that have gaping holes in my datebooks, my soul feels worn out and burdened.

As I read this verse, I see some instructions I must follow in order to find rest for my soul.  First, I must come to Jesus.  That is not my natural bent.  When things are going well or life seems stuffed, I foolishly occupy myself with anything but the pursuit of God.  Second, I must take His yoke upon me.  I confess that my first reaction to this direction was, “God, can’t you see that I’m already busy enough?  Another yoke?  I can’t handle anything else.”  I didn’t realize that God was willing to take the heavy yoke of seeking others’ approval, disappointment over unmet expectations, and self-condemnation and replace them with His loving care.  Finally, I must learn from Him.  Jesus spoke those words over 2000 years ago, knowing that I would desperately need them.  Jesus came to earth to be an example for me of gentleness and humility, two character traits that have always been a struggle for me.  My pride keeps me from admitting my need for God’s help.  Without His help, I become impatient and frustrated, which comes through in all my relationships.  Jesus left us His Word, the Bible, and His Spirit to constantly remind us of those words.  I have so much to learn from Him!

I’m still learning what full rest for my soul looks like, but I’m can now see the importance of coming to Jesus, taking His yoke upon me, and learning from Him.

How would you define rest for your soul?



  1. I can relate. When anything happens I look for the adult and realize it’s me. Some of my girls are older than you and I still feel the need to mother them sometimes. My youngest teases me when I still reach for her hand crossing the street and she is 41 ! We get a good laugh out of that. I find that we all now have a friendship that wasn’t there when we were going through those scary teenage years.

    • Marilyn, I’m so glad we have God to be the adult when it’s just too tough for us. You’re a great mom and a great example for me! My daughter is 23, and we are well on our way to becoming close friends in addition to mother and daughter.

      • Thank you, Julie, for sharing these encouraging words! Especially the ones regarding Jesus’ willingness to replace our heavy self-imposed yokes with His light one. What a wonderful spirit lifting gift!

        • Deonne, it’s wonderful to hear from you, my writer friend. Don’t you feel a little bit more free today knowing that Christ wants to remove our horrible yokes weighing us down and give us grace-filled yoke which will propel us forward? We serve a mighty God!

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