Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28
I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve said, “If I just finish these things… I will catch up and then I will take a break.” Rest is one of the hardest things that, even though it seems so easy, I somehow get swept up into the busyness of life. No matter how many times I say I am going to take a break, somehow that break never comes. I have this fear of saying “no” or letting people down that even in the time that I might get to slow down and rest, I fill up my schedule again. This past year God has been teaching me a lot about rest and how crucial it is to make recovery time a part of my weekly schedule, and even finding a short bit of time for it every day. Right now I am so exhausted ALL the time that when people ask me what my favorite thing in the world is or what my hobbies are my immediate response is-- Napping. I am always so exhausted from the constant GO, GO, GO, but then I think why am I not giving myself the space to need rest, when God himself created the whole world and gave Himself an entire day of rest?
Genesis 2:2 says, “ By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” (NIV) God saw how important it is for us to rest and this is just one example of Him making time to rest as an example for us.
Rest is one of the greatest gifts God gives us, and I think the biggest reason we don’t take the time ends up being one of the three following reasons if not all three.
1. We don’t want to let people down by not being available or having to say “no” to things.
2. We struggle with letting go of the control in our lives and giving it to God.
3. We don’t give ourselves space to process everything going on so we get lost in going constantly without ever slowing down.
I don’t know which one you relate to, but for me personally, it’s a combination of all three. I struggle to give God everything I am struggling with and I try to take care of it all on my own for both myself and other people. I am still learning how to say “no” even if I could say “yes,” and most often I don’t even realize I need to slow down and take some time to recover and “refuel my tank” because I am non-stop constantly.
There is no weakness in needing help, in needing to just breathe and take care of yourself. Whether that be physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually, I encourage you to find what fills you up, makes you feel rejuvenated and most importantly, brings you closer to God! It doesn’t have to be the same as someone else and it doesn't always have to be by reading your Bible or praying. Though that is helpful, if just going for a walk fills you up, then make the time to do so. Get creative! Think about one of your favorite things to do and do it with God in mind.
1. Ask yourself “How do I refuel?”and “What makes me feel like a new person?”
2. Which of the three reasons listed above are keeping you from the rest that you so desperately need?
3. What can you do to change that, and who can you find to help keep you accountable to following through and taking time for yourself to rest?
Heavenly Father, Thank You so much for this day that You’ve given me, I pray that I could be more open-handed, giving you control, that I may find rest in You. Even in this busyness of life I pray for the wisdom to know when to say “yes” or “no” and that I would be able to rest in knowing You are so much bigger than anything that could happen. You are so good and even You rested, and I pray that I would make it a priority to find that rest in You daily, for you are the God of peace. I love You so much! Amen