I feel heavy-laden with all this busy-ness. I have run out of gas from all this zipping around, back and forth.
“Just rest” are the words I’ve been hearing since January or February. I’m not even sure of the month because life has been such a mad dash.
Life can be demanding of, if not so much our energy, at the very least our time. Good things need to be done, necessary things. Our loved ones’ needs and quality-time visits and housework. All the hoops for school and work will keep lining themselves up. And the good work we feel called to do — the unpaid or underpaid labor of the heart — is just one more thing we must add to the list because we feel so much purpose brimming behind the door.
But if there ever was a time in my life when I needed rest (I think this is the first time I’ve ever felt like the exact kind of person Jesus described when He said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest”) this is the time. This Easter weekend in the midst of our fun and rushing. This Friday dark with the curse of the cross. These devastated nights hopeless because of what we all thought to the the finality of the grave. This Sunday dawn bursting forth to abolish all that we believed about our fates: We don’t have to die and suffer the hell away from Love. We don’t even have to die and just cease to exist. We don’t have to keep messing up our own selves or the lives that intersect with ours.
We don’t have to keep striving — not on our own, futilely. The revolutionary Hope of Easter is that the Man who promised us rest is the One who conquered sin and death: the ravaging forces that are the reason we all labor in the first place. He has defeated the system that held us shackled. He’s overcome the world, too — this world busy and broken and cutthroat and often just too much for a body to handle for very long.
So, here’s my surprise Easter message for all of just who are just tired:
Jesus offers us rest, true rest. It’s just one more miracle-treasure found within His scars.
How we receive this priceless gift starts with believing that Jesus died to unshackle us. He broke all the chains long ago, yet we still carry some or dozens or hundreds of them. If you have never asked Jesus to save you, then whisper it now: “Jesus, save me.” No striving for perfection first, no getting your life together. This is all it takes.
Those of us who breathed that prayer long ago need to hear this message too. We need to remember what it really means that sin and death — the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, all our taking arms against a sea of troubles — are done. Our lives can have purpose, and we can do good, but we do not have to do it on our own. Life has already won the war. And when our hearts are at rest in that truth, God’s Life in us takes over — beautiful, life-giving, effortless.