Honestly, the topic of rest is about as far from my mind as possible – and maybe yours too. I literally am running down my “to do” list in an effort to get a family of four out of town for a few days. The laundry needs doing, the dogs need a place to stay, the kids hair needs cutting, the dentist apparently only had availability tomorrow…and on and on. There are literally not enough hours
in the day to accomplish everything that needs to get done, and ironically, on the “to-do” list is….. to write about rest.
I first considered sharing a list of “restful” activities, such as reading a book, getting a massage, going for a hike, napping, fishing…you get the idea. All of which have their place and can bring us a sense of relaxation and rest and some of which I am carefully considering doing after this gets checked off the list. I’d recommend finding whatever restful activity you enjoy and trying to engage in it in the next week.
But with further consideration, it occurred to me that while restful activities can be highly beneficial, it is most beneficial to consider God’s perspective on rest. The story that comes to mind is the story in Matthew 14, where the disciples were out on a boat and a storm came. Jesus came walking out to them on the water, and Peter eagerly decided to get out of the boat and walk on the water to Him. The scriptures say, “he came toward Jesus.” He was doing fine on the water until he started to look at the wind and the waves, at which time he began sinking.
It’s the same for us, calm, peace, and rest come when we focus our attention on Jesus. Chaos, unrest, stress, “sinking” come when we focus on the storm around us. Other scriptures give us tools to help us to do this…
Psalm 46:10 – He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Be still, cease striving, stop.
Remember who He is… the one who spoke the world into existence.
He meets your needs.
He longs for you to know Him and experience His character personally.
He went to great lengths to have a relationship with you.
Matthew 11:28 – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
When the hurriedness, business, and stress of life are consuming, I can forget to go to God. It almost becomes another checkmark on the “to do” list, rather than seeing His presence as a place of comfort and rest. But when we do choose to come through prayer, studying His word, meditating, worship…He brings peace and rest in our souls.
My hope is that this “spring break,” you can find ways to rest through activities you enjoy, but also to find lasting rest in leaning into the one who has the power to calm the storm around.