When our children were younger, long rides home after even longer days of fun inevitably always arrived at the same conclusion. The starting of the car seemingly having the effect of a strong anesthetic caused both children to fall fast asleep before we even had a chance to get out of whatever parking lot we were in. They would remain completely knocked out, heads back, mouths open until the crunching of the gravel beneath our family vehicle signified our arrival home. Engine stopped, my husband and I would often look back for a moment savoring the sweet slumbering faces of our two obviously exhausted children shining in the dim glow of the overhead light. Like soldiers on a mission we would then nod at one another, take a deep breath and as stealth like as possible wrangle the children from their seatbelts to their beds attempting not to accidentally wound any of their appendages on the way up the stairs.
Knowing that waking them would be pointless as they would be able to muster at most the energy of a lifeless whining zombie, the question of teeth brushing became an unfortunate but accepted causality on evenings like these. Lowering them into their beds and knowing they were too tired to undress themselves, we would begin the process of helping them to become unencumbered so that they would be able rest well.
Bending their little bodies in half at the waist to de-t-shirt their raised up torsos, upon letting go they would simply slump back down onto their pillow with the weight of weariness clueless that anything was going on outside of the dreamland that they currently found themselves. It wasn’t that they couldn’t sleep with all of their clothes on; indeed, it was obvious that as tired as they were they would sleep. We knew however, that rest, true rest, is best embraced by those who are unencumbered.
1. not impeded, slowed down, or retarded; free to move, advance, or go forward.
2. having few or no burdens or obligations.
3. not burdened or weighed down, as with bulky or heavy objects.
There have been times on this journey that I too have felt too tired to help myself become un-encumbered so that I could truly rest well. Insecurity, fear, un-forgiveness, pride and worry have in different seasons of life clothed me as a well coordinated ensemble hand picked for me by the enemy of my soul. Even when I knew the things to do to help myself become unencumbered, weariness sometimes settled in and although I knew that I was created, called and even commanded to rest, those things which had me bound kept me from being able to rest completely because I felt that I simply could not remove them in my own strength.
It can be frustrating when this happens because children of God WANT to rest, NEED to rest and yet sometimes just can’t SEEM to rest.
I have found that the Lord is faithful, in these moments, to pick me up, hold me close, and begin the process of helping me to become unencumbered as I just lay before Him tired and exhausted willing to admit my own insufficiency to free myself. Even warriors become weary from the battles of life. Day in and day out pressures that press on us from all sides take their toll and we can forget how to slow down and just rest. Instead of accepting and embracing the guilt and shame because of being bound, we must instead become like little children and accept His help in our time of need.
Father, help me to live unencumbered so that I can fully and completely rest in you.