I know I’ve said it before, but I love vacation! It’s honestly a good thing I’m not loaded because vacationing is all I’d ever do. Nothing would ever get done, of course, but if I could I would vacation forever. I love the beauty and the culture of different places, but most of all, I love the opportunity to leave busyness behind and just rest.
The first real vacation Dustin and I ever took was a cruise to the Bahamas when our youngest was not quite a year old. I enjoyed all the beautiful stops in the Bahama islands, the deep blue water, the picturesque towns, but my favorite part of the trip was all the sleeping I got to enjoy. At that time we had three kiddos under the age of four in our house, so sleeping wasn’t a commodity. So we went on vacation and slept a lot, and it was incredible!
Resting and taking a break isn’t something I’m super good at doing unless I’m vacationing. It’s a struggle for me to say no to people and opportunities; rest is a battle that the Lord and I hash out often. So I am going to be super honest and tell you, this is a battle I walk through daily. It isn’t a battle I’ve won, and as I write to you, I’m writing to me.
Over the past couple of years, God has been teaching and leading me through this thought of rest well. I stay so busy going and doing that I struggle to slow down and take a break. At times it gets to the point of making me cranky and less than loving toward others. But the truth is I’m neglecting a time of Sabbath in my life. I shouldn’t need a vacation each year to slow down and rest; Jesus offers a real rest every day.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me, and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me, and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30
You see, what I’m learning is that rest isn’t about a specific day or several vacation days; it’s about every day, or rather, rest is a lifestyle. Sabbath is needed in our life and God knew this. Even God rested when His work was finished (Gen 2:2). I think what Jesus is trying to show us in Matthew is that rest isn’t to be found thousands of miles away on vacation, although that’s a great time to rest, but rest is available every day, even in the midst of the chaos. Rest is found in our savior and in our everyday relationship with Him.
I know all too well what busyness can do: the exhaustion, the weariness, the burnout it can create. The only way to keep life from overwhelming our souls and sucking the life right out of us is to be intentional with our relationship with the one in whom we can rest – Jesus. If you are living life overwhelmed, Jesus invites you to come to Him.