I hear this verse with a child on my lap, fighting me. The other kids are sitting by my side, doing their best to use their "church manners" and not to be distracting. It's not working.
Rest and quietness!?
But do I?
Do I really wish I had a quiet house and a short list and all the time in the world to rest, relax, and be still with God? Or, if I had a quiet house and a short list, would I simply add things to the list until I had a noisy house and a full day again?
I'm driven, busy, and task-oriented to a fault.
Rest and quiet are about as natural to me as... well, returning, and trust.
Returning to the Lord.
Returning, when my life has changed suddenly, to God Who does not change.
Returning, when darkness threatens to swallow me up, to The Light of the World.
Returning, after a failed battle with my own sin, to God Who forgives.
Ceasing from activity, from problem-solving, from justifying myself, and from worry,
and quietly resting in His love for me.
And remembering who I am, Whose I am.
A child of God.
Weak and loved. LOVED.
Mary hears the invitation to rest, but Martha is distracted with her many things. I understand the distraction, I see the many, many, many things. But Jesus speaks to me and to you with a rebuke-invitation: there is only one thing necessary! Sit, child, and let me be your host. Let me provide that which your soul needs. You are not the glue that holds the world together: I am.
Let me hold you.
For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength."
Teach my heart to do what does not come naturally. Open my eyes to the pockets of time in my day when I may rest in You. I often miss those moments, when the children are quiet and no tasks are urgent, and I fill them up with mental chatter, worry, or little things that could wait. May I not just breathe and to rest my body, but rest my heart as well, in You. Fill me with returning and trust, and let Your strength be my strength as I enter this day.
In Jesus' name, Amen