Rest Like Jesus
I took a little vacation with my husband last week. We took time to celebrate our 31st anniversary and also to decompress from life in general. It was to McCall, Idaho, a beautiful mountain getaway, about 90 miles from Boise. And to make sure I used the time to relax, I shut down my laptop and didn’t write, tweak the website or do any of my other normal things the entire week. I even took a book and planned to read. Unfortunately I packed the wrong book, one that I had recently read! But we had such a relaxing time in the mountains and at the lake it didn’t even matter.
During this time I began to think about what resting is. This is what I got when I googled the definition of rest: cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength. We just did all of those things on the vacation we scheduled for ourselves. But I began to ponder how we are supposed to live at peace-rest in the midst of our busy, complicated lives. Finding rest in Jesus is a foundational element of the Christian life, and so I sort of took inventory on how I have been living lately. But before I go there, here is the result of all of my thinking on rest last week.
We learn about rest from Jesus. He had a calmness about Him even though he carried the weight of the world on His shoulders. I think it’s safe to say that He was busy. He was aware of time and His assignment to accomplish all He came to do. But He wasn’t really worried about time, He was more concerned with accomplishing what the Father wanted Him to do.
Jesus knew the dynamic of interacting with people, including all their insecurity and expectations. And yet, He was calm in the midst of this pressure and made sure to let us know He was demonstrating how we are able to function within that same rest.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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 11:28-30 NASB
His assignment from The Father was accomplishing what was intended, but pretty soon the very success itself drew people. Then the success and the excitement of the people would begin to pick up momentum, creating pressure because of their need and agenda. But Jesus knew when to separate Himself from the crowd when their agenda would try to take over. He chose time when He needed to get away, to retreat and to recover from all He was doing. Even with this outside pressure, if you think Jesus let the enormity of what He was doing spin His emotions and stress His physical state to exhaustion, think again! He knew His weakness of being human and the needs of caring for His body, soul and spirit. He is our example of living in balance. He took time away from the crowds to refresh His Spirit, recharge His soul and to tend to His physical needs. Many times we read in scripture that Jesus would go off by himself. If you open up the Bible and read Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, keep this in mind and be attentive to anything else that is mentioned about rest.
Here is My Quick Personal Inventory:
- Do I take time to retreat in the midst of my complicated, busy life?
- Am I allowing God to set my pace and my priorities in life?
- Am I tending to every aspect that my physical body demands?
- Do I take enough time-outs to refresh my spirit & hear what The Father would say to me?
- Am I spending enough time feeding and recharging my soul?
Today I am living this rest. Monday is usually the day I set aside to get the most work done and actually block off my schedule so I don’t have any distractions. But today, even though I didn’t have this article ready to post at my usually time, I loosened up my agenda. I decided not to be so consumed with time today and allowed a most pleasant distraction to get me off course. I knew what my normal deadline was and what I still had to do but I chose to let it go and feed my soul when the opportunity presented itself today. I am so glad I did! I didn’t even realize the connection to what I was planning to post today until I sat down to finish this article.
I invite you to press on and follow Jesus with me, determined to accomplish His purpose but all while resting in Him.
Blessings, Tami Gaupp