Last week, I took a short vacation with my daughter and her family to celebrate my grandson’s eighteenth birthday. While I looked forward to being with family and grandkids, I looked most forward to getting away from work and getting some rest. At least, that is what I hoped.

The vacation home we rented was secluded, just as advertised. However, it was mostly rock and had more steps than I had ever seen. It was quite a trek to go anywhere on the property. Even the bathroom floors were rock. After a day, my feet and calves ached. To make matters worse, there were a lot of sounds within the house that I was not used to. I did not sleep two hours the entire time we were there, which made for long nights.

On the last day, I sat on the back deck and talked to God. I told Him I was so disappointed and exhausted from lack of sleep. He took me to two familiar scriptures He has brought to my attention all year. The first is one of my favorite scriptures from the Old Testament. I have shared it with you many times.

Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ (Jeremiah 6:16)

God again told me I was looking for physical rest, which is important and necessary. However, what I really am longing for is soul rest. I pondered on the scripture in Jeremiah, and then I looked through the concordance to see what other scriptures I could find on soul rest. I found one. It is in the New Testament. I thought it was odd that I could only find two scriptures on the subject of rest for one’s soul.

The other scripture is Jesus talking. He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)

The first thing He pointed out to me about this scripture in Matthew is we have a part to play in it. Jesus said, “Come unto Me.” Before we can begin to experience soul rest, we must first go to Jesus. He says, “Come all who labor and are heavily laden.” This means those who are weary and exhausted. Those who feel beaten down in life and its circumstances. The word laden means overloaded or overburdened. I know many people who are feeling this way today. They are overwhelmed at the things going on in our world. They feel overburdened by things their family is facing. Or perhaps they feel overloaded by the many tasks they must accomplish in a day’s time. Yet, Jesus says if we come to Him – He will give us rest. The first step – go to Him.

He next says, “Take My yoke upon you.” I have always imagined this to mean to attach yourself to Jesus and hook up to Him, just as a cow is attached and led with a yoke. While it does mean that, I found it interesting that it also means balance. Isn’t that insightful? To be yoked is also to have the right balance. We must always balance our lives with Jesus as the main priority and focus.

When Jesus says we will find rest for our souls. That word, soul, means where life dwells. Yes, it is the seat of our feelings, desires, and affections. However, the biggest thing that jumped out at me is that the soul is where life is found. If this is true, and it is, we must make sure our soul stays refreshed at all times – otherwise, how could life freely flow through us?

I love how God is always eager to teach us in every situation. This mini vacation was such a time for me – a time to learn and grow. I have this magnet on my fridge that says, “Grow through what you go through.” I love it! It reminds me that whatever I am facing, if I look to God and His Word, I can learn something. And when I do, I can share that knowledge with others.

Physical rest is vital—it gives your body time to refresh and restore. Soul rest is just as necessary. It brings refreshment to your soul, your emotions, your feelings, the very place where life itself dwells.

I don’t know how you are feeling today. If you find yourself feeling weary, perhaps you need to find rest for your soul. If so, go to Jesus – that is the first step. Then take His yoke upon you. Hook yourself to Him and find the right balance in life. The result – rest for your soul. May soul rest, be yours today and all the days of your life.

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