Rest and Renewed Strength

When I think about what mothers probably want for this special day more than anything, the word that first comes to my mind is…rest. Motherhood is such a gift. To me, it is one of the most wonderful, rewarding jobs that God ever created. The amount of love I feel on a daily basis for my kids is indescribable. The constant hugs, the snuggles, and “mommy, I love you,” when children are young, are moments I wouldn’t trade for all the world! But at the same time mothering can be hard. It can try our patience. And it takes a lot of energy! When I think of being a mom, restful is not the first word that usually comes to mind to describe most days. Words that I do think of might be…tiring, hectic, fun, busy, stressful, joyful…but restful…not so much! Being a mom is a 24/7 job!

God made mothers and women with such nurturing hearts. I feel like we are always looking for someone to care for and “mother.” When we meet little girls at the park, and they see my two-year-old son they immediately start taking care of him like little mother hens.

In my own life I look back and realize how my role all along was that of a mother, to my students, to my spoiled little dogs, to the horses I took care of (they are just 1,000lb babies!) I was always looking for someone to care for.

Although this post is geared towards moms, it is for all women who care for little ones in some form or another. If you are a mother (or praying and longing to be one), mother-to-be, step-mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, godmother, babysitter, nanny, teacher, mentor, foster parent, social worker, coach, caretaker for children/elderly/disabled, nurse, children’s ministry worker at church, daycare worker, volunteer, the list could go on…then you are a caretaker, and you probably could use a little rest.

For Mother’s Day, I wanted to give you a gift. I wanted to write something meaningful and encouraging. Then I realized there is nothing I could write that is more meaningful or more encouraging than what God has already shared with us in His Word. That is the whole point of this blog, to share encouragement to women through Biblical truth.

So today my gift to you is to share 15 of my favorite verses dealing with rest or renewed strength. No matter how tired we are, how weary, there is a God who cares for us. He sees our every day, even when no one else might see. He sees the extra care, the sleepless nights, the times when we are patient and loving even though our own energy tanks are running on empty. He sees when we put the needs of someone we love and care for above our own. He knows it all and He is there ready to hold us in His arms and let us rest. What a loving God!

I hope these verses are as meaningful to you as they are to me. I hope that you will keep them in your hearts, remember God’s Word and be encouraged on the good days and the not so good days.

“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:11 NIV

I wanted to share this verse first because I love the picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, our good shepherd, gathering us in His arms and close to His heart. It reminds me of how we carry our babies and little ones that same way, with so much love and tenderness, totally protected. And it goes on to say “He gently leads those that have young.” That’s him talking about us. I am thankful for how gently He leads us along the road of motherhood. I pray I might lead my little “lambs” with the same gentle and loving spirit.

“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 NIV

“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” Psalm 62:1-2 NIV

“Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22 NKJV

“I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:1-2 NIV

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 NIV

“Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.” Acts 2:26-28 NIV

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2 NIV

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” Psalms 23:1-3 NKJV

“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11 NIV

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8 NIV

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13 NIV

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:5-8 NIV

“Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” Psalm 116:7 NIV

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV

Isn’t it comforting to know that God never grows tired or weary? His strength is unending and He tells us to come to Him when we are in need of rest. The first verse I shared and this last one are both from Isaiah 40. The entire chapter is an absolutely beautiful picture of God’s comfort, His power and strength as creator and ruler. I suggest you read the whole thing when you have time. It is one of my new favorites!

This Mother’s Day and always, I pray that you will place your hope in the Lord. Run to His loving arms, and there find your rest and renewed strength.

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