Today I rested and did very little at all. Sure I had things written down to do today, but as I woke up I heard God gently whisper in my spirit, “just stay in bed a while longer and rest.” Then as I later got up I had the same internal nudge to not be making lots of phone calls, running around, or ticking off tasks in my diary. No, “just sit quietly and chill”. And as I did anxiety and fatigue lifted off me.
A lifestyle of ceaseless labour, day after day, no matter how noble or worthy our cause is not good for us. We aren’t really built for it and eventually something gives way.
Jesus set an example for us that we are designed to follow, in that He often withdrew from people in order to rest and commune with the Father.
“The news about him (Jesus) spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:15-16)
Interestingly Jesus withdrew to rest from the demands of the people and day at the height of his popularity. There were literally thousands and thousands of people crying out for Jesus to heal, teach and bless them. The need and opportunities were great and yet often we find Jesus choosing to rest and take time off, because He understood if He was to accomplish His purpose (and set us an example to follow) he had to remain spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally strong. And that required regular times of prayer, rest and recuperation.
Rest is the invisible part of our time, the part that rebuilds and remakes us every day. Without adequate rest we will suffer and struggle to fulfil those things that God has placed in our hearts to enjoy, experience and accomplish.
Today I encourage you to follow Jesus’ example and take time to rest. Schedule rest in your diary and day, and honour that time as just as important as the other more visible, measurable productive parts of your life. Let’s be wise and cease from all our activity when we need to and come away and rest.
Prayer: Lord help me to understand the importance of rest and to set aside a regular time to cease form all my activity and labour so that I can recuperate, reflect, relax, and fully rest. In Jesus name Amen.