“I’m just so tired,” I recently told my friend. “Like, deep-down-in-my-bones tired.” She listened as I explained—how I’d been too busy to stop for breath, and why I couldn’t possibly let any of my spinning plates drop. She let me whine about my exhaustion and heard my reasons why rest wasn’t an option.

“I wonder,” she said slowly, “if it’s less about your busyness and more about…your belovedness.”

She hit the nail on the head.

My busyness is all about me—my work, my striving, my pride. But my belovedness is all about the Lord—who I am in Christ—his love, his grace, his rest.

I love the picture of rest in Deuteronomy 33. Just before his death, after 40 years of leading Israel, Moses blessed the twelve tribes. Standing on Mount Nebo, looking out over the promised land he wouldn’t enter, “about Benjamin he said: ‘Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.’” (Deuteronomy 33:12)

“Resting between his shoulders” is a hug—an embrace. It’s a child nestled securely and sleeping soundly in a parent’s arms. It reminds me of the encounter between Jesus and the apostle John in John 13—another image of rest. Just before his death, after three years of ministry, Jesus blessed the twelve disciples. Reclining at the table, sharing the Passover meal, Jesus gave the disciples final instructions, prayed for them, promised the gift of the Holy Spirit, and predicted his own death. When Jesus warned that one of the twelve would betray him, Peter motioned to John. “Ask him which one he means.” And John—“the one the Lord loved”—leaned back against Jesus. “Lord, who is it?” John asked. Resting between Christ’s shoulders, John was close enough to hear his reply. “The one to whom I will give this piece of bread,” Jesus answered, indicating Judas Iscariot. (John 13:21-27)

Just as in Moses’ blessing to Benjamin, John knew Jesus so well—he was so confident in his own belovedness—that he leaned back on Jesus to rest. The beloved of the Lord rested secure in him.

What if rest is less about my busyness and more about my belovedness? I can rest, not because I’ve finished all my tasks, checked everything off my list, and finally have nothing left to do. That day will never come. Instead, I can rest because Jesus offers it:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

I can rest because, ultimately, rest is about trust: The Israelites “were not able to enter rest, because of their unbelief…they did not share the faith of those who obeyed….Now we who have believed enter that rest….Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 3:7-4:11)

I can rest because it’s less about my busyness and more about my belovedness.

Lord, enough of me and my efforts and ego! Let me be confident in my identity as your beloved. “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him.”

Amy Storms

Amy is a part of our Christ’s Church family and has taught Women’s bible studies and served as a Pathways guide. She is the Marketing & Communications Director as well as an English Professor and Strong Hall Residence Director at Ozark Christian College, one of our Impact Partners.

Amy is pictured here with her husband, Andy, and children, Nathan, Anne, and Molly.

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