Finding our rest in Jesus
Vacation season is in full swing. Many families that I know are squeezing in a vacation before school starts again and life gets filled back up with sports and obligations. Vacations can provide great opportunities for fun, memories and rest. We can all benefit from rest, but I have to admit that I don’t rest well. My brother described going on vacation with me as an experience completely lacking in anything resembling “rest.” I don’t rest well. I have a bad habit of filling up my days until they seem like they are overflowing. They are full days, but not days full of rest.
So I have been thinking about rest and how I can do a better job at resting in God. In the 10 Commandments, God commands his followers to remember the sabbath, for they were to take a day of rest. At first glance, it can seem out of place among the list of important commands like don’t kill anyone! But I think God knew that we were going to need a reminder to rest. Not just sleep, but to rest.
Sleep is important, but sleep can be absent of restful reflection on the beauties of God’s creation, or reflection on God’s glorious gospel that saves sinners through grace. True rest isn’t just another hour of sleep, it is much deeper than that. So at the very core of what it means to follow God means to take time and rest.
Rest reminds us that we are not God. We are human beings who grow tired and require sleep. Our weariness reminds us that are not the creator, but the creation. After a long day, it is easy to just want to find a couch and spend a few hours relaxing before bed, but Jesus offers a rest that is more than just for our tired bodies. He offers us a rest that serves our anxious souls as well.
He says in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
In this passage, we see from Jesus an invitation to find our rest in him. We see the truth that when we follow Christ he gives us rest for our soul. The difficulties of life are not a new creation. People were tired and worn out and anxious in Jesus’ day as well. I love that Jesus promises that if people follow him he can give them rest for their souls.
So as we go through life, I encourage you to come to Jesus and find rest for your soul. I am going to try and do a better job of spending some time resting and reflecting on the truths and promises of God.