Do you have yearly rhythms that you try to stick to because you know they’re good for you? If so, pause for a moment and ask yourself if you’ve stuck to the commitments you made to yourself – the ones like getting enough rest, eating better, exercising, taking a silent retreat once a year, etc. What’s your response? Is it a resounding “Yes!”? Or is it a “mostly” response?
If you’re like me, you’ve likely let a few slip. But then you reach a point where your soul is screaming for you to have a pause, to take time away, to create space for reflecting on where you’re at and where you may be headed. And not only to create space for reflection, but giving God space and permission to minister to you.
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Mt. 11: 28-30
The Greek word for come is δεῦτε, which can be translated Come Here! Come on! And we find in Mathew’s gospel a personal invitation from Jesus to come to him. I was reminded earlier this month while away on a silent retreat (no electronics, just my Bible, journal and some books) that we have a standing invitation to come to the Lord Jesus in ALL seasons – including ones where we are weary. Perhaps Jesus describes a particular state – weary and are carrying burdens – because life of full of these seasons and he wanted us to know we are always welcome.
Room 19 was my room. And from the moment I arrived for my retreat, God began to minister to me and remind me of several things. I’m going to list some things in bullet form because it’s easier that way. So here are some of my lessons or reminders (perhaps one will be meaningful for you!):
- God is ALWAYS present, regardless of how I feel.
- God can and will give us rest, if we are willing to receive.
- God longs to be with us.
- God answers. God cares. The LORD’s paths are right and true. ( Hos. 14:8-9)
- God’s plans stand forever. He watches over those who fear him. (Ps. 33)
- God will complete what he appoints for me. (Job 23:14)
- God’s friendship can be felt in our homes, just as it was with Job. So powerful to meditate on and experience! (Job 29:4) I have prayed this for others since leaving my retreat.
- My life is claimed by God. My hope (a relying upon) is in him.
- The Lord takes pleasure in me. (Ps. 149:4)
- Rest, and restoration, are found in coming to Christ and surrending, allowing him to do what only he can do in the deepest parts of our soul.
- Jesus prayed for my protection while in this world. (Jn. 17:11b)
The LORD did not disappoint when I carved out space to be silent before him. In fact, I felt like for two days I got to drink from the river of Living Water. So can I encourage you with this: You have an invitation to come to God when you are weary or carrying burdens, he’s waiting.
Where can you carve out time to respond to Jesus’ invitation to Come Here!?
This is my heartfelt prayer for you: May you know and experience God’s friendship.
The Reverend Carmen Kampman is a woman on the road of leadership. Ordained with the PAOC, she is a steward of God’s call to women in ministry. She is on staff at Horizon College & Seminary, an Associate Pastor at Westside Pentecostal, and holds an MA in Leadership & Management from Briercrest College & Seminary.