Recently, I thought a lot about what makes me feel worn down.

And nothing wears me down as much as being a parent. And I feel the most worn down when I feel the least adequate as a parent. Especially when I am dealing with something that consistently happens over and over again. Now that my kids are past the toddler stages, my struggles are over behaviors and discipline. Most of the time I am making it up as I go! And I'm not really sure if I'm doing it the "right way." I've already identified so many reasons why my children will end up in therapy. Now I am just hoping no one ends up in jail! And I include myself in that! Some days I think I've got it all together, but most days I think I am just treading water in the big pond of parenting.

Which is why I get worn out! So, I thought about what refreshs me or renews me. I decided that I would figure it out and pass it on to all my other worn out friends. I would share some of my experiences with other mothers. So, I made my mental list: Reading the Bible, a date night with my husband, time away from my kids, an outing with a friend, spending more time in prayer, taking a day off, finding a hobby, watching a great TV show, taking a long bath... the list went on and on. But something just didn't feel right. Something was missing. And I realized that my problem with all of this is that at the end of the day, it is still something for us to do. How can it be refreshing to a worn out mother that the answer is to do something else?

And I realized what truly refreshes and restores me like nothing else in the world – It’s Jesus! Because when we stop focusing on what we need to do, and take time to remember and acknowledge what he has already done for us, then we experience the ultimate refreshment! When I think that there is a God who loves me so completely and perfectly that he was willing to send his son – Jesus - to die for my sins so that I could be in his presence for all of eternity, it literally brings me to my knees in gratitude. And the more I focus on what he has done for me, the more I feel my spirit fill up with his grace and his mercy.

Lately, I have been studying Matthew 11:28-29 which says,
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (ESV)

Jesus is speaking here. First of all, he says, “Come to me.”
He is not saying, come to the church or come to a pastor, but "Come to me!"
Have you ever said to your child, “Come to me” "Let me see what’s happened." or "Let me see what hurts?" This is what Jesus is saying when he says "Come to me." And who are to come to him? “all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” But how does Jesus give us rest? Its in the next two verses that we find that answer!
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
First of all he tell us to take his yoke upon us. A yoke is a wooden structure that bears the weight of whatever you are pulling. So, when he says take my yoke, he means hitch yourself to my yoke. He’ll be on one side and you'll be on the other. But guess who is going to do all the work – Jesus. Not you!
And then he tells us that we are to learn from him because he is gently and humble. This is where he says we will find "rest for our souls.” The key is to learn from him, which means that we have to take time to know him. And to know him is to understand what he did for us.

And here is what he did.

God created each one us. We are his children that he made in his own image, each with individual differences that he so lovingly picked out. Have you ever taken a child to the store, Build-A-Bear? Watched them decide on what they wanted their stuffed bear to look like? They get to choose the animal, how firm or soft it will be, the clothes it will wear and so on. God created each one of us exactly as we are, with this color of eyes, this size of hips (that I still would like to discuss someday Lord!), with this ability and that personality. He created us and calls us his children.

And what do parents want from their children? To always have a relationship with them.
Once your kids grow up, aren’t you going to want them to come see you, to call you, to want you in their lives? Isn't this the desire of every parent? God tells us in Genesis that we are created in his image, so he’s given parents the same desire that he has. He wants all of his children to be with him eternally and to have a relationship with him.

But God is a perfect God and so to be with him forever, we have to be without sin. Sin separates us from God.
Doesn't the choices our kids make cause them to be seperated from us? When they do something wrong, we send them to their room. We separate them from us because of their choices. This is what happens with us. Our choices seperate us from God. And just like no child is perfect, no human is perfect. The Bible says, “None is righteous, no, not one" (Romans 3:11)

But here is the best part – Instead of having us suffer the consequences for our choices, God himself takes the punishment. By sending Jesus (who is God) to die for you, he pays the price that we should have to pay. Even though we don’t deserve it. And without earning it. Completely and totally because of his mercy and grace. Because of his great love for us.

Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection paid the price for our sins. And all God asks of us is that we believe that Jesus is the son of God, that he died and was resurrected and admit that we need a Savior. And then when we believe it, we live it! And the reason why we should live it? So that our lives might draw his other children to him!! So that someone might see the difference that Jesus made and want that same thing! If you are a parent, can’t you relate to wanting all of your children to be with you! Not just some – but all!

So, Jesus says "Come to Me." Come to me and give up the sin and efforts to find peace without me. Let go and you will find rest. Let me carry your yoke and learn from me. Look at what I have done for you and realize that you can have eternal rest for your souls, just by believing in me and trusting me. And together we will spend eternity together in heaven. And it is in heaven where we will never get weary, never get overwhelmed, never feel less than perfect.

And Jesus promises us in John 6:37 that anyone who comes to him, will never be cast out. There have been so many times in my life where I have been cast aside, pushed away, stepped on, forgotten. But Jesus promises that he is different than every other person we have ever met. This is why we call it good news! He is the good news!

If there is anyone that does not have a personal relationship with Jesus - for you to turn to, to carry your burdens and walk along side you day by day, please make that decision to follow Jesus and accept the gift of eternal grace that he is offering. Today. Andt for those who are already believers, know that the Cross is not something to think of only at Easter or just when you first got saved. Hebrews 12:2 says that we should set our eyes on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

And do you know what the joy is? What possible joy would Jesus will be willing to endure the cross and all the shame that came with being crucified? The joy of giving us salvation. The joy of knowing that anyone who believes in him will be with his Father. This is why we should set our eyes on him. Because he made the greatest sacrifice for you that anyone will ever do.

So, to truly be refreshed, you must come to Jesus. He is calling, "Come to me."