rest.

i had a weekend without work disturbances.

perhaps that sounds normal to the majority of humans. but i am a social worker. and often, my weekends are not free of entanglements.

don’t get me wrong … i’m grateful i get to do what i do. i love that my work is meaningful and worthwhile.

but the day before thanksgiving, i sat at my desk and realized that i was exhausted. truly, utterly, exhausted. and not just physically tired, like i needed a few good nights sleep and i’d be okay.

in my line of work, it’s called “compassion fatigue.”

the term describes not a person who does not care, but rather a person who has cared so much and for so long that it’s exhausting.

the holiday weekend came at just the right time.

on thanksgiving morning, i sat down for a few moments of peace before meeting up with my family. i wrote a few detailed pages in my journal about what i was thankful for, and then i prayed.

i truly believe that God hears me when i pray.

and i prayed for rest.

now, rest is something that i’m not good at, and i will confess that.

even this weekend, despite my good intentions, i ended up deep-cleaning my entire apartment, running several miles, hiking some hills, and walking across a giant bridge. all of those things were great, but they weren’t very restful. at least not physically.

but maybe physical rest is not the only rest i need.

i’ve been thinking a lot lately about Jesus. when He was hanging out down here on earth, a long time ago, He said something like this: “come to me, all of you who are weary, or have heavy burdens. and I will give you rest.”

that sounds wonderful.

but how can i be given rest? isn’t rest something that you take, of your own doing? it’s not really something that someone else can give you, is it?

then i started to wonder if the kind of rest Jesus was talking about wasn’t the kind of rest i need after a long hike, where my legs are stiff and i wonder if i overestimated my stamina.

maybe it’s the kind of rest that can heal compassion fatigue.

maybe it’s the kind of rest that soothes a weary soul, one that has tried to save the world but can’t even save themselves.

maybe it’s the kind of rest that comes from trusting in a God who loves greatly.

i know this to be true: the times in my life that i have drawn near to Jesus, desperately searching for some peace to soothe my weary soul, He has always been true to His word. He does give rest.

when i’m humble enough to admit that i need some help.

and when i stop running around long enough to get quiet.

and when i close my eyes and ask.

 

 

 

 

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