It’s hard to believe that summer is almost here. The months of June, July and part of August offer time to rest and relax, to recuperate from the busy year, and to go on vacations with the family. So often, by the time that mid-August rolls around, I am exhausted from all my “resting” and ready for the school year to begin again.
Life is busy. We are wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, neighbors, leaders, Sunday school teachers and business people. We are stretched and pulled in so many directions with each season of life having its own recipe for busyness.
Many things vie for our time and can leave us feeling weary and worn out: kids, sports, school work, house, parenting, your marriage, doctors’ appointments, ministry events, cleaning and cooking, grocery store shopping, Bible studies, a hurting friend or neighbor and chronic illness— along with all the have-tos and want-tos of life.
We all probably know we need time for rest. But the difficulty comes when we are scooped up with the busyness of life and wonder, “How do I rest when life keeps going?”
When I think of being weary and needing rest, I am reminded of Jesus’ words and His life-giving truth in Matt. 11:28-30: “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.”
Rest is more than being physically still. One definition of rest is to “recover strength.” Slowing down, taking a vacation, building times of rest into your week, getting seven hours of sleep at night are all healthy components of recovering strength for physical rest. But physical rest doesn’t always translate to internal rest. I can be lying in bed at night, but my mind may be racing through all the things I didn’t do that day and what I have to do tomorrow. I can be physically still, but internally, I may be running a mental marathon.
Rest is found in Jesus. It is important to get physical rest. But nothing gives our soul rest like Jesus does. In Him, we are deeply loved, so there is no need to try harder or be better. Rest. In Him, we are completely known and valued, so there is no need to prove our worth by hiding our weaknesses. Rest. In Him, we are provided for, so there is no need to overthink or manipulate the circumstance. Rest. Deep soul rest is found in Him, simply because of Who He is.
Coming to Him is easier than it seems. We make rest more difficult than it should be. Jesus’ rest isn’t delivered in a to-do list or a three-step plan. His rest doesn’t come in gritting it out or trying to get to the other side of busy. Deep soul rest can be found in the middle of your weariness and burdens by coming to Jesus.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Reading the truth of His Word
- Praying and pouring out worries, concerns and all the tasks at hand
- Worshipping with songs that glorify Jesus
- Confessing brokenness and admitting your need for Him
- Surrendering and believing His plan is better than your plan
- Obeying as you choose to do the things He calls you to do
Even in the busyness of life, as you come to Jesus, you will find rest for your soul. It’s a promise. And God is faithful to all His promises.