Whenever I speak at women’s events, I like to remind them that the same God who calls us to take up our cross and follow him (Mark 8:34), to lay down our lives for others (John 13:15), and to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) also calls us to come to him when we are weary so he can give us rest (Matthew 11:28).

Often we forget that last part.  At least I do.

I get so caught up in trying to be the perfect Proverbs 31 woman that I forget to be his daughter.  I forget to run to my Father for comfort when I get hurt.  I forget to tell him the wonderful things I’ve discovered today.  I forget to share my hopes and dreams and what I want to be when I grow up.  I forget to creep to him in the dark of night when I’m terrified by a nightmare.  I forget to ask him to watch me twirl, or to cry out for strength when I need help with a heavy load.

Just the other day my (earthly) daddy called to remind me that I live pretty far away right now.  He’s right.  It’s almost 800 miles to get from his house to mine.  And it breaks my heart.

Teen textingBut, I am really glad to live at this point in history because I can text, call, email, or FaceTime and be connected to him in an instant.  And while a visit requires planning, I can be wrapped in his arms in a day if it comes right down to it.  But most of the time a screen-pop of his written words or the sound of his voice has to suffice for now.

Sometimes when a text comes in, I need to be engaged in what is in front of me, which means I need to ignore his text until later.  But, when my daddy calls or texts, it is an invitation to engage with him, to be part of his 800-mile-away world for a moment.  When I text or call him I invite him to share in my life, to speak truth and wisdom – or humor – into it.  It is a valid connection.  It is a call to stop something else and spend time together – for two minutes as we text a quick thought, for an hour as we talk about college plans, grafting pecan trees, or grandkid antics.  That little text is a request to pause, to connect, and to rest together.

My relationship with God is like this, too.

I live pretty far from him right now, but in an instant I can connect with him through his written word.  I have immediate access to him through prayer.  While I cannot jump in a car and be in his arms at the end of a long day of driving, he has provided the arms of countless people in the church to wrap me up for now.

Matthew 11:28 is like a text equivalent from ancient times.  It’s right there in Scripture, a welcome interruption to our busyness calling us to rest and connect:

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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

It is only as I stop what I am doing and choose to engage with God that I am able to take up my cross and follow him, to lay down my life for others, and to bear a friend’s burdens.

That is one text I should never ignore.

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Photo Credit: Summer Skyes 11 (OMG Ikr lol  Uploaded by JohnnyMrNinja) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons