I have talked to many people who are just tired. With everything that has been happening in our world, rest seems evasive. We are hyper-alert and I would say, hyper-tired. And, its not a normal sense of being tired, it’s a tiredness that reaches deep into the body, down into the soul that leaves you weary. A good night’s rest doesn’t seem to help at all, you awake the next morning with the realization that you are still tired and that you must go on.
My friend, you need to rest. You need a Sabbath.
Sabbath is not something we hear much about today. But, it is a distinctive part of the Jewish culture, included as one of the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses. The idea of rest goes back even further with God resting after his creation on the 7th day. Note here, he did not rest because he was tired but instead to give us a model after which to follow.
Unfortunately, how many of us often feel that we have no time to rest? That our “to-do” list becomes longer and longer and the demands on us grow bigger and bigger? We think that when the babies become school-age children, we will get rest only to find that really never happens. So, we move through life and think that when they become teens we will get rest only to find our schedules get more demanding. At some point, we begin to realize that rest never truly comes, the season of life we are waiting for never seems to come but instead brings with it its own sense of fatigue.
I have discovered that unless we work to create a time of rest, we will never find the rest we need. Rest to restore our souls, to remove the weariness and rest that connects us to the important things in our lives.
Perhaps now you are recognizing the need for rest in your life, even Jesus recognized the need for rest in his life. And he tells us,
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” ~Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
You are invited, in the midst of your weariness to come to Jesus. He offers real rest, not just momentary rest where your burdens and worries are temporarily lifted but a feeling of peace and a sense of being put right. Are you breathing deeper as you think about how that would feel?
Becoming rested for real.
Sometimes, even though we know the Scriptures about rest, we still find ourselves in a position where we don’t feel rested. I stand guilty as charged. I tend to take on too much in life and go, go, go, with the intention that I will rest next week when x is over. The problem is next week never seems to come. And then, I become exhausted.
This happens because we think we are the center of our world — but this is not true, “without Christ you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
We think, if I don’t do it, it won’t get done. But, this is pride talking! (OUCH!) What God wants us to do is not heavy, it’s what we take on ourselves that becomes heavy. God never gives us too much to do. What on your plate is your agenda and what is God’s agenda for you?
With this in mind, take some time to figure out how to re-prioritize your life to make time for rest—one day each week. While difficult at first, you will develop a rhythm of work and rest. This time of rest will allow you to really hear God and see all that he is doing in your life.
A day of rest will ultimately make you more productive the other 6 days—hard to believe, but it is true. It’s amazing what can happen when we observe the limits the Creator has established for us—in our best interest.