The Gift of Rest

July 10, 2018

 

The days are longer. The weather is hotter. The kids are out of school. It's summertime!

 Chances are your family has gone or is planning to go on a vacation at some point over the next several weeks. These summer trips are often a great source of fun memories. But if we're honest, family vacations typically feel like anything but a vacation. There are suitcases to pack, cars to load, food shopping to be done, and a list of places you just have to go while you're gone. This time of relaxation can really be exhausting.

 Finding rest seems impossible for a lot of us. No matter where we are, there's a schedule to keep or there's someone who needs us. Breaking away to refresh and reenergize doesn't come easily. But it's important that we do. Rest is a gift from God.

 We know that God rested after the six days He spent creating the earth and everything in it. That same rest, which is called the Sabbath, is given to us. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Hebrews 4:9,10

 As God rested from his great work, we are also told to rest from ours. Many of us have a hectic work-life imbalance. We spend a lot of time at work or thinking about work. We have means of being contacted 24/7 by anyone. Finding rest is hard. But why?

 For many of us, we feel guilty if we take the time to rest. If we don't answer an email or text right away, we're worried someone might think negatively of us. If we tell someone no when they ask us to do something, we feel as if we're letting them down. 

 It's interesting that during his time on earth, Jesus understood the value of rest. After the death of John the Baptist, Jesus even told the disciples to rest. "Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while." (Mark 6:31) In order to be effective in their ministry, the disciples needed to rest and recharge their batteries.

 It's important to know that rest does not mean laziness. Rest isn't a license for us to abandon all of our duties. It is an opportunity for us to spend more quality time with our family, our spouse, and reading God's word, among other things. Consider turning off your phone when you get home from work. Get out in nature and enjoy some fresh air. Pick a book of the Bible and meditate on it this summer. 

 Rest comes when we give our burdens to God and recognize He is in control. Realize true rest is a gift that God has given us, and take advantage of it this summer!