By the time you read this, I will have returned from a brief vacation with my wife. We spent a few days away from home near the beach in Florida.
We do not do a lot of touring while on vacation. We take a few books to read, walk along the beach, eat seafood every chance we get and I try to get in one round of golf just to say that I did. For the most part, we sleep late and rest.
This idea of a vacation, or rest, is actually a biblical idea.
In the earliest pages of the Bible, we learn that God himself rested on the seventh day of creation. We often read that Jesus took time to get away from the crowds for prayer and rest. On one occasion, his disciples had to wake him up when he fell asleep in the boat and they were frightened by the great storm.
Yes, the Bible tells us to come aside and rest. Jesus said, “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He was speaking mainly to his disciples on this occasion, but the invitation seems to be open to all who will come. Jesus knew that life is full of trouble and difficulty. He did not promise to remove all trials, but he promised to bear the burdens for us.
We live in a world where busy-ness is often seen as the test for whether or not a person is living to his or her fullest. You actually hear someone say, “If you want something done, ask someone who is already busy.” The implication is that the busy person will know what to do and will respond quickly.
But the fact is that we sometimes find ourselves becoming too busy. Now, I know there is a fine line between busy and lazy. I am not an advocate of laziness. The Bible says that if a man will not work he ought not to eat, and that a man who does not take care of his family is worse than an infidel. The Lord created us to work. Even in the garden before the fall of man, there was work.
But we also were created with the need to rest. Our bodies require sleep. Our minds need down time. The fact is that rest often will recharge us to the point that we are able to accomplish more.
I want to challenge you to consider this call to rest. Do you rest as you should? Do you give God the opportunity to recharge your spirit? It can happen on vacation. It can happen in worship. But you need it.
Come aside and rest a while. Listen to God’s voice as you do. He will speak. Will you listen?