She asked me to tuck her in bed. I said, “not tonight.” I was tired and it was the children’s bedtime and all I could think about was the snack I had in the pantry and my favorite television show that was about to begin. So, no, I did not go downstairs and tuck my baby into bed. Four hours later, I was laying in my bed unable to sleep and all I could think about was what kind of mom doesn’t want to tuck her child into bed?
Here’s the thing – when your almost ten year old asks you to tuck her in, you. tuck. her. in. When your four year old asks you to play Uno, you play Uno. When the toddler toddles up to you with arms outstretched and says, “up,” you pick her up. And you do these things exhausted because you know. You know, four hours later, you would much rather be in your bed fondly remembering the day than kicking yourself for the things you chose not to do.
Motherhood can be discouraging and exhausting and, sometimes, lonely. You always feel like you’re missing something important – like there is some vitally important lesson you are forgetting to teach them. You’re weary in the present and burdened for the future and you’re pretty sure, one day, they will all end up in therapy because you did it all wrong. And, then, there is this.
Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28
Such a well known verse. I’ve always focused on the promise of rest. Isn’t that the human way – to read a verse like that and focus on the “what’s in it for me” part? Last night, however, I saw it differently. I used to think of weary and burdened as being the result of this broken world. You know, like we need rest because this life is stinkin’ hard or people are cruel or these kids never let us sleep. But what if weary and burdened is not a sign of a difficult life but of a well lived one?
When you continually give of yourself until you’re weary – Christ says, “Come and I will give you rest.”
When you have a heart that is burdened for the hurting and hopeless – Christ says, “Come and I will give you rest.”
When you can’t remember the last time you felt well rested and, yet, you choose to still tuck that child in or rock that baby or care for that sick relative.
When you have problems enough of your own and, yet, you choose to still be there for others who are hurting and struggling.
When you have been lied to and taken advantage of and, yet, you choose to still live a life of ministry.
Sometimes, weary and burdened is not a sign that you are doing something wrong – but that you are doing everything right. And, for those who live weary, burdened, obedient lives – there is rest.