How to Rest in God

NC-ND, Rich, Flickr
NC-ND, Rich, Flickr

I was a student leader the latter half of my undergrad years. That role along with school work, a job, regular exercise, and minimal recreation was sometimes exhausting. So I periodically took weekend rests to rejuvenate myself.

It started after an early dinner on Friday afternoons. Having already cleaned my room and washed all laundry, I’d shower and then jump in bed. I took no calls nor did I answer the door. It was strictly rest time.

On Saturdays I would rise only to shower and sometimes have a quick breakfast; then it was back to bed. The point was to simply lie there, drifting in and out of sleep. The TV could play softly but that was about all.

This was my routine for the entire weekend.

When duties resumed on Mondays, I felt like a completely new person. Not only was my energy renewed, but I also noticed that my mind was sharper. I’m not one for sleeping in, but I’ve learned that it can be useful sometimes.

An Unbeatable Deal

My desire is to rest in Christ the same way. We all have life duties and other unexpected matters that tackle us. Jesus offers, “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.”

Swedish Nat'l Heritage, Flickr (Domain)
Swedish Nat’l Heritage Flickr (Domain)

The illustration of the yoke implies being in the service of another; and in this case it means putting oneself in the employ of God’s law, as opposed to a life lived in sin and done the world’s way. Christ persuades us—“Stop making your way hard way. Let me teach you grace.”

And it’s a worthy lesson. We need not wear ourselves out running on the wheel of pleasing others, living shamed by sin, uncertain about the future, or purposeless and oblivious of God.

Jesus is door to the rest we need. He and the Father and Spirit have eternally enjoyed rest and delight in each other; and Christ offers us that sweet communion in exchange for our every chore. We really can live life with heaven in our hearts.

7 thoughts on “How to Rest in God

  1. Amen. Good post, Mike. We are to work from rest. It’s entering into that Divine rest and doing what God is showing us, not performing or serving because we think we should being doing something. And we are held up by His empowering grace, and His life. I have always been struck by how Jesus’ everyday doings were so unplanned (by Him) but simply going with the flow of the Father’s heart. So much ministry happened while He was on His way somewhere else. A good lesson about His kind of yoke. Blessings.

    • So much insight in what you’ve said, Mel. I really love your latter point about Jesus’ unplanned actions and simply being led by the Spirit…so profound a thought.

  2. Great piece. I remember regular lazy days when I was in broadcasting school. Nothing better than a daylong snooze.

    As for resting in Christ daily, you are on the money. Christ is my Sabbath as I rest in him. The Christian life is oftentimes a dichotomy: Jesus’ yoke is light but the world stands opposed to you. With Christ you can overcome, but your life could be much harder. Praying for our brothers and sisters in Iraq.

    • Ted, this might seem random, but it connects. I woke up this morning provoked by your “Love & Justice” piece and the current celebrity death. I too was surprised when I saw it–and saddened; however, it rather quickly became another tragic situation to me.

      Insensitive? Not intended, but people die every day; and common folk commit suicide all the time. Just because one is a celebrity doesn’t cease to make him a ‘man’; and talent, wealth, applause, and humor cannot mask that.

      So when people want to question the worth of following Jesus or dismiss the Christian perspective, I point to something like what we’re witnessing now, which is someone who gave up because they couldn’t cope, unable to find hope and freedom.

      I don’t want God to call me stupid, like he does the rich man, because I had everything in life but died a spiritual pauper.

      • They are everywhere. I was having a FB discussion last night that sprung from well-wishing for the actor.

        I’m shocked because these people worship the creature over the Creator. Then they get mad when you bring up God, because in reality they are worshiping a god.

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