A friend recently gave me a precious gift. It’s a beautifully decorated 30 day calendar with lyrics from old hymns. Here are the words that I’ve been meditating on for a few days: “Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art. I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart.” (Written by Jean Picott in1876.) Repeating the word “resting” draws my attention to it.
Rest is a necessary part of the cycle of daily life. God created us to need rest. Rest for a few hours in every 24 hour period. And a day of rest once a week. He even gave us the example when He rested on the seventh day after His work of creation was finished.
Sometimes things rob us of the rest we need. Overworking, fear, pain, worry – all of these overwhelm us at times. So what should we do about it? After all, it’s natural that the stresses of life would get to us.
Did you know that even Jesus and His disciples struggled with balancing the activities of busy life with rest? After returning from a mission that Jesus had sent them on, the disciples were reporting all the things they had done and taught. They had gone out in pairs, preaching and healing, and they came back exhausted. Jesus “said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while’ For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves” (Mark 6:31).
The rest didn’t last long because the crowds followed them to their “deserted place” and Jesus, in His compassion, taught them and then miraculously fed them – thousands of them. (You can read the whole story in Mark 6:30-44.) But my point is that Jesus recognized when rest was needed.
We need more than physical rest. We need rest for our souls. And Jesus knew what to do about that, too. He said, “Come to Me, all you 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). “Rest for your souls.” Yes, thank God, Jesus can provide that necessary component for our survival.
Even though it may be brief, let’s find time in our busy schedules today to seek the Lord for rest. He wouldn’t promise something He couldn’t deliver. It takes time to find that rest, but it’s worth the effort. “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7).
Are you waiting on Him today? Are you resting in the confidence of who He is?