I took a week of vacation last week for a staycation. We moved our baby to college on Monday. So, I told people I was taking the rest of the week off to mourn. My real intent, however, was to just have some time off to rest.
I don’t know about you, but I can be prone to burn the candle at both ends, and sometimes in the middle. This COVID-19 season has certainly given opportunity to do that, if I’m not careful. The fact is, while these times are a different kind of busy, they are no less busy. In fact, in some ways, it may be more busy as we have to explore new ways of ministering, staying connected, making loose plans for uncertain times … you get the picture.
This reality has yet again shown me a lesson that I don’t easily learn. I’m not Superman. I need rest. In our contemporary culture that is hyper-fixated on “productivity,” rest can seem counterproductive at best and lazy, or even sinful, at worst. But the reality is, our refusal to rest puts us in direct conflict with what God demonstrated for us and commands of us — namely, that we rest.
We see in His very act of creation, God instituting and modeling the priority of rest. After creating the world and everything in it in only six days — simply by the very power of His Word — God rested on the seventh day. It wasn’t because He was tired and needed rest. It was to show us that we are not God and we do need rest. In brief, rest is a declaration — “I am not Superman. I am dependent. I need rest.” We are dependent on God. He gave us life. He sustains our life from moment to moment. He provides all we need. When we physically rest, we lay aside our illusion of self-sufficiency and acknowledge our dependence on Him.
There is a spiritual lesson to be learned here as well. While physical rest is necessary for our body, our greatest need is for rest and peace of soul.
We lack that peace of soul, apart from Jesus Christ, because of our sin. For many, that results in trying really hard to find such spiritual peace. However, the only way to have real peace of soul is not by working harder, but by finding rest in Jesus Christ. When we come to Jesus in repentance and faith — declaring our dependence on Him for forgiveness, life, and rest — we find a rest of soul that is simply not available anywhere else.
Ignoring physical rest will eventually result in physical ruin as our bodies are not made to handle such a demand. Ignoring the spiritual rest that can only be found in Jesus will result in spiritual ruin and eternal separation from God in hell. Are you spiritually weary, trying to be spiritually self-sufficient? Come to Jesus and find, through faith in Him, the rest of soul that only He can provide.