There’s something calming about watching a baby sleep. Life is turned off, there are no concerns or worries, and the rest is real. No carrying of burdens, no fretting over problems that have no apparent solution.
Kolly, at almost three months, has a rhythm for her sleep. She naps when needed, wakes when hungry, and interacts with family and friends. Then the cycle begins again. It’s what she intuitively knows she needs, and when she’s tired, she closes her eyes and leaves everything else behind.
I’ve seen what happens when she’s over-tired, when her schedule is disrupted, and she’s not able to fall asleep where and when she wants to, She becomes cranky and inconsolable because she’s not getting what her little body so desperately needs.
Her peaceful sleep is a calm pause that’s a refusal to be bothered by what doesn’t matter to her. Her eyes move behind her lids, her mouth curves into quick smiles, and I know something wonderful is happening in her young mind.
I wish I could ask her the secret of such quiet rest. What gives her the opportunity to dream when everyone around her is loud and constantly moving.
Sleep is a wonderful gift, hitting our refresh button where we pause from activities that are too often frantic and frustrating. Where the concerns of the day can be put aside so we may recharge our batteries.
That hasn’t been my experience of late. Too often I go to bed, tired and ready for sleep, but I can’t turn my mind off. Thoughts run through my head at the speed of a hyper hamster running on its wheel.
Rest isn’t something everyone does well. And we pay a price for our constant doing, our need to produce something of value so we may be valued.
Like Kolly when she’s over-tired, I become less kind, less tolerant when I’m weary.
With less rest, I lose that part of me that lets me dream greater things. I become mired in the minutia and lose sight of what’s important, and what’s possible.
Jesus reminded us that we don’t have to carry all our concerns and worries alone. If we trust Him, He will give us the strength and courage we need to bear up under life’s loads.
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’” Matthew 11:28-30
This is an open invitation to all who need Jesus, an unconditional promise of welcome. He doesn’t say we’ll be without challenges or problems, but He has promised to help us with them, giving us peace of mind and soul rest in the midst of them.
To rest in Jesus gives us the freedom to hope and dream, to not be burdened by the blame, shame, and guilt of life, but to allow Him to give us all we need to deal with it.
If you had the freedom to rest, what hopes and dreams would you pursue?