Our family loves road trips and has taken numerous cross-country jaunts over the years. One of our longest was a 7-day, 12-hour daily driving excursion from Celina, Ohio, to Anchorage, Alaska. During this trip, even when I closed my eyes at night, it felt like I was still cruising in the car.
During these road outings, a designated rest area is a welcomed sight, offering a safe, sheltered stop from the ups-and-downs of driving and an opportunity for refreshment along the journey.
Like a long road trip, I’ve found that life sometimes feels like an arduous expedition, where rest is desperately needed for my overall well-being and ability to continue on my route.
The Long and Winding Road
Recently I heard someone discuss Isaiah 57:10, a scripture that seems to capture how the last year has felt in my life, “You were tired out by the length of your road, Yet you did not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewed strength, therefore you did not faint.”
A work-related situation was tiring, daily attempting to drain my strength and overall hope in life.
Yet, during the last few months of this on-going saga, it seemed that God was impressing Psalm 37:7 on my heart, bringing it to my thoughts each day and urging me to “rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”
Jesus My Respite
Even though Psalm 37:7 is a familiar verse and read often over the years, I hadn’t really grasped what it was urging me to do.
Other verses began to come to mind, as well, like Matthew 11:28, where Jesus calls us to “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
What I began to discover is that in this tour of life, Jesus offers Himself as a rest stop for the weary, a safe and refreshing place to take a break when the road I’m traveling on is wearing me out.
Instead of constantly thinking about various situations, trying to figure out what to do and how to resolve issues, Jesus offers me a respite from the journey where I can trust in Him to work all things out for good.
Isaiah 40 states how God does not become weary or tired and how He gives strength to the weary. Through out the passage, the verses encourage me to not fear because He promises to be with me and help me.
To my surprise, when I decided to “rest in the Lord” by laying my worries, concerns, fears, and doubts aside, I began to see God move in my own and loved ones’ lives in new and remarkable ways.
Oh … What a Relief It Is!
Instead of feeling like I had to do more in situations, I began to see how when I stepped back, God stepped-up to work His ways and will in circumstances.
Resting in Jesus brings relief from anxiety and the desire to be in control of situations.
At a much deeper level than a roadside stop, I’ve discovered that choosing His rest brings answers, solutions, and resolutions as I travel the road of life.