“Rest.” Doesn’t that word on it’s own just sound fantastic, and really just a little foreign? Do you rest often? I certainly don’t, and the fact that I am writing about this topic makes me laugh, because I am known for being the worst “rest taker.”
Just to sum it up, I am currently planning my own wedding that’s happening in a little over a month (what. where has time gone?), working full time, and completely changing seasons of life. I am usually busy—so busy to the extent of being left exhausted and extremely drained. That being said, this blog post is not only for all you people that need to make time for rest, but mainly for me, because I’m majorly preaching to myself.
Exodus 20:4 says, “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.” We live in a culture where busyness is almost encouraged and even welcomed into our daily lives. I mean I get it, it feels good to have places to go and things to get done. Being determined and driven is not an unhealthy thing, but it’s when busyness becomes bigger than our relationship with God—when it becomes an idol, that it becomes highly dangerous. I have struggled a lot with letting busyness become an idol before God, and I have even made “being busy” into an excuse for not spending time with God in prayer and in His Word. God tells us many times in the Bible that anything that comes before our relationship and time with Him is an idol, and we must flee FAR from it. I don’t know about you, but when I am not investing in my time with the Lord, my kingdom perspective is clouded, and I treat others way differently than when I am filling my head with wisdom, truth, and knowledge from His Word. Aside from idolizing extreme busyness before God, it can also distract us from loving those around us well. Many times I have found myself sacrificing time with my family and friends because I choose my work or busyness as more important to me, than my relationships with them. How selfish is this? Valuing my time more than my family and friends needs is completely wrong. We should be striving always to love others as Christ has loved us, so that truly means setting our own busyness aside.
Let’s go back to that unfamiliar word—“rest.” How do we make this a normal practice in our lives, and how do we seek it on a normal basis? Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” It is in Him that we can truly find rest. We can’t do anything in this life on our own, and that includes all burdens we may bear—even busyness. We must strive everyday to lay all of our burdens at His feet. This means taking all of our stress, anxiety (because of our workload), and all that comes with being busy to the Lord in prayer, acknowledging that He will provide in all of the busy times. Resting at His feet by being in prayer and in His Word daily leads us to worship, and I’ve noticed that it does my heart a world of more good than pushing myself so much that I reach a breaking point. So today, make an effort to slow down and defy the odds of our culture. Take a break, a walk, a deep breath, a cup of coffee, whatever “rest” looks like for you. Ultimately, spend time with God, trusting that He is faithful in the busy seasons, and rest is 100%, completely worth it.