Rest. What does resting really mean? The dictionary defines rest as: “the ceasing of work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.” Wow, right? Doesn’t that sound great! To be able to stop movement and become refreshed! If I’m honest, the concept of rest is kind of foreign to me and I’m sure to a lot of you as well.
Studies show that within our culture stress is rampant.
44% of adults report that their stress levels increased over the past five years and within children and teens almost a 3rd reported that in the last month alone they had experienced a physical health symptom commonly associated with stress. Including but not limited to headaches, stomach aches, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, shortness of breath or full-on panic episodes.
Stress is an epidemic in the world we live in, it affects young and old alike. No matter your social status or economic situation. We are all bombarded from every direction with stressful situations and unfortunately, I don’t see that changing any time soon. On this planet we share, there are many things that cause us to see the worst in humanity. We see and experience evil in a way that we were never meant to. So it’s no surprise that in a world full of stress we would all find it difficult to fully relax or refresh ourselves.
So with that being said, what do we do about it? How can we truly accomplish “rest” in a world full of unrest? I believe that answer is simple but difficult! Difficult because it requires us to not rely on all the things we do to accomplish rest in our lives, it requires us to let go of control. The funny thing is, in life, we never have much control anyway.
The Bible says in Matthew 11: 28-30
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
“And you will find rest for your souls”! Not only is the rest Jesus offers physical but rest for our souls! I don’t know about you, but that sounds soooo good to me. A rest that is not only restorative to me physically but deeper and more saturated than any good vacation or midday nap could accomplish. And the best part, this rest doesn’t have a time limit! Jesus tells us in two verses that if we come to Him when we are tired and worn out, if we take his nature upon ourselves we will find He is gentle and He will give us a soul rest, a rest like nothing else.
So, again, how do we accomplish true rest in a world full of unrest?
We look to Jesus! We copy Jesus! We rely on Jesus! We rest knowing He is gentle, His yoke is easy and His burden is light!