"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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." -- Matthew 11:38-30
When I called into work to request a day off to rest and recover from a nagging cough and chest cold, little did I know just how badly I needed the rest. An unusually hectic schedule the week before with very little rest over the weekend had not only been unavoidable, but also proved unhealthy for my over-fifty body. While I thought I might simply take it easy and perhaps catch up on a few things around the house, all I did was sleep. I think I took power napping to a whole new level!
God did not create us to overcommit and overextend ourselves, no matter how noble the reasons. Our bodies and minds are designed such that they need good nutrition, adequate sleep, and some exercise in order for us to be our best. Sometimes a deadline will require that we push ourselves more than we would like, perhaps, but wisdom dictates that when the opportunity to rest presents itself, we let a few things go so our bodies and minds can be replenished and refreshed. We also need to learn how to balance our priorities. How easy it is to become so involved in our own activities that we neglect the needs of those around us, particularly our own families!
The idea of rest did not originate with man. It originated with God, who not only rested after creating our world but also set aside and commanded a Sabbath day of rest for his children. That includes you and me. Whether or not you are a believer subject to the teachings of his Word, you are his creation and your body is designed to require rest on occasion. A day off from work, a power nap, or even a movie night with your family can leave you refreshed like nothing else.
Jesus often set aside time to rest and reconnect with his Father, separating himself from the disciples and seeking solitude in a place where God could refresh him. Each of us has that opportunity every day by choosing to have a quiet time of Bible study, meditation, and prayer. That is how I start each day and why I believe God has enabled me to accomplish all that my busy life requires.
If you find yourself on a hamster wheel of activity, try hopping off the wheel and find a quiet place where you can open your heart to God. God is never too busy to meet the one who seeks him or to refresh the weary soul in search of rest.