I am a homeschool mom of four kids. I am with my kids pretty much all. of. the. time! I love them and I like being around them but sometimes I need a break. I don’t think I ever truly understood the meaning of rest until I had kids. Sure, everyone needs a good nights sleep and gets sick or stressed and needs some rest but being a mom taught me the blessedness of actually clearing your mind and schedule and just existing in a state of rest.
Three Types of Rest
- Physical rest is for your body. This is where the good nights sleep, lazying around, and proper nourishment come in. A properly rested body can do a world of good for one’s well being.
- Emotional rest– Stress, anxiety, depression, circumstances our of our control, or a full load can all add to emotional burn out. Having coffee with a girlfriend, taking a time out, or seeking professional help, can get you on the right track.
- Spiritual rest comes from being unified with God. It says my body may be weary, my mind may be racing in all directions, and the world around me might feel like it’s falling apart but I won’t fret because the one who made the world, has it all under control. It’s a peace amidst chaos.
We All Need Rest
I want to talk about a Momma in the bible who found herself in need of this rest. Her name is Hagar. Her story is found in Genesis 16-21.
Quick backstory here….Abraham was a man called by God. God promised him at the age of 70 that he would inherit land, become the Father of a great nation, and be blessed by God. As the years passed and Abraham obeyed God, the Lord revealed more to the promise that he would have a son and his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. A couple of problems here, first, Abraham was about 75 and his wife Sarah 65. Oh yea, and they had no children, Sarah was barren.
Years pass and Sarah decides to take matters in her own hands. She says to Abraham, “Hey, take my servant girl Hagar, have sex with her and we will take her baby. This will be the baby that God can use to bless you. ” (my paraphrase) Hagar gets pregnant and has a son that’s she’s told to name Ishmael.
Things can only get better from here right? We got this whole weird love triangle going on now. Sarah is jealous of Hagar and her son. Abraham is trying to keep the peace. And Hagar, is causing problems. And then of course, there’s the fact that God comes to Abraham and tells him that this isn’t the son of promise. God will give him a son but it will be through Sarah (Gen. 17).
Fast forward about 13 years and God has given Abraham at the ripe old age of 100 and Sarah at 90, a son named Isaac. They are having a celebration for Isaac and evidently Hagar and Ishmael find something about the situation comical. They are laughing and mocking and Sarah has had enough. She tells Abraham to get that woman and her son out of her sight.
Abraham is broken so he goes to God. God assures him that He will take care of Hagar and his son and that he should send them away. Here is Hagar and her son, sent away from the only life they’ve ever known and probably hurt and scared.
Genesis 21: 14 tells us that Abraham sent them with water and food. We don’t know why but Hagar decides to wander in the wilderness. Maybe she thinks they didn’t really mean it and will come after them or maybe she’s so blinded by emotion that she can’t think straight. Whatever the reason, she finds them in a place where they are lost without food or water. The scriptures say that she places her son under a bush and goes the opposite way and says to herself that she can’t bear to watch her child die.
Only God Can Provide True Rest
Here is a momma in need of rest. She is lost, scared, and ready to give up. She knows she can’t save herself. It’s at this moment that God shows up. Verses 17-21:
“And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.”
WOW! Not only did God hear but He provided water immediately and “was with the boy”. It’s at that moment, when we decide to give up, humble ourselves before Him, that He can show up and provide us the full extent of His rest.
Remember what Jesus said, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. “ The invitation is “come to me”. Coming to Jesus means surrendering ourselves, it means asking forgiveness of our sins, being open and honest in His presence and a completely vulnerable “I need you” state. It is for “all how are weary and heavy laden.” And the best part, Jesus says, “I will give you rest.” This is a promise. And Jesus keeps His promises. Abraham and Sarah were given the child they were promised. Hagar and Ishmael were given the care they were promised. And, God cares no less about any of His other children. He will keep his promises, He will give you rest.
So tell God when you need rest weary momma. Cry out and let Him know your fears about not measuring up, your worries over a sick or disobedient child, your insecurities about the future, your anxieties over the past, and your current struggles. He will listen, He will take your burdens, and you will find REST! (And if you are a non-momma reading this, the burdens may be different but no less real and the promises stand for you too!)
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