Ever get to that “I need to peel a roll of cookie dough and eat it like a banana” state of stressed?
Cookie dough. So good, but so bad. But I’m talking about a shaky-hand kind of stress that goes beyond even the “I have to pour liquid into a small-necked container” level of stress.
I confess, I can be bad at guessing the timing of rest—and how much I need it. I usually under-rest-imate.
So I want you to know, I get it. I live mostly in an “immediately if not sooner” life space. It’s a heavy-yoked place of a dictatorial to-do list. I woke up a few mornings ago feeling a little worried that I had used up all the available stress. Like I’d used it all and hadn’t saved any for anybody else.
“Alexa, take my stress.”
Or better, “Alexa, at least take the first half of my to-do list. I’ll start on the rest of it.”
It was worth a shot. Though Alexa is probably judging me, and I can’t much blame her. How can I start on the “rest of it” while I’m so sorely neglecting the rest of it?
Whether I’m zipping through the list, chasing down kids, caring for people, keeping up a household, sprinting through one job or another—if I don’t take an intentional rest, the to-do list will outpace me. Those stresses, overtake me.
Rest is critical for winning a life race. It’s needed from the cookie dough level all the way up. We find a very particular, soul-buoying rest in Psalm 62:5-6. “Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken” (CSB).
No shaky hands here. The first instruction for the soul is to rest. In its original Hebrew, the word for rest can mean quietness. Even stillness. Not my usual posture for bulldozing through a day full of stresses, for sure. But let’s be real, even if we get everything done that we set out to do, there’s no soul satisfaction if we’ve merely been serving a list. I can never rest in accomplishments that are of my own design. Or anyone else’s design other than my great and glorious God of rest.
Rest in Alexa? Nope. Not in cookie dough either. There is only one real rest. Verse five makes it clear that it’s in “God alone.”
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (CSB).
Our Triune God offers rest on every level. Soul rest. He offers a yoke that’s “easy,” with the Greek word “chrestos” giving the idea of a tailormade yoke that just fits. If your to-do yoke is a stressor that’s uncomfortable and ill-fitting, it may mean you’ve yoked yourself, or allowed some other person to. The Lord doesn’t necessarily give us a cinchy calling. Sometimes it’s hard work. But it always fits perfectly, comes with great satisfaction, and a sure hope that comes right along with it. And yes, rest. We can sweetly rest under His care. What a wonderfully de-stressing thought to chew on all day.
So put that illegal roll of cookie dough back in the fridge. You’re under a REST. And it’s good.