We all need rest
Does your life feel like one long “to do” list? Do you feel like you have too many responsibilities and not enough time? Many of us have a hard time resting. When we have a free moment, we may feel uncomfortable and restless. Maybe you feel a sense of guilt when you allow yourself to occasionally slow down. Your list of things that need doing seems to be never ending, so why rest? Because God instructs you to.
God was busy when He created the universe. When He was done, He rested.
“And on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation.” Genesis 2:2-3
In the same way, we see Jesus also rested. He often withdrew from people in order to spend time alone with God.
“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He departed and went out to a desolate place, and there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him, and they found Him and said to Him, ‘Everyone is looking for you.’” Mark 1:35-37
This passage shows that Jesus withdrew from the crowds when He was most in demand. There were thousands of people waiting for Him to heal them, to teach them, and to bless them. In order for Jesus to accomplish the purpose God had sent Him, He had to remain spiritually strong and thus requiring regular times of prayer and rest.
We should follow His example. One of the most important functions of rest is to allow us to listen to God. Our lives are so busy that oftentimes we become deaf to the still, small voice of God. In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, we often find ourselves being controlled by emotion, by habit and circumstance, instead of being guided by the Holy Spirit. Rest allows us to realign our priorities. God wants us to take time with Him and rely on Him for rest.
“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.” Matthew 11:28-29
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