Today is my first day back in the office after my summer break. It’s interesting that my daily devotion was taken from Matthew 11:28-30, where Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” (NIV) When I read those familiar words that begin that passage, it struck me how, as a Christian, my “rest” doesn’t have to come from time away from my role and responsibilities. My “rest” comes from my faith in and dependence on Jesus, no matter where I am or what I’m doing.
I got some rest while I was on my break (and I’m defining rest as more than simple sleep). But I also had some times of restlessness. My restlessness could always be traced to things like worry, a lack of trust, and self-imposed pressure. I worried that our church attendance and offerings would suffer in my absence. I had a certain lack of trust related to things that people needed to get done while I was away. And I spent an entire evening feeling unhappy about an even par round of golf because all I could think about was the three short putts I missed and what might have been (my golf game is heavy with self-imposed pressure).
Rest can be an elusive thing. Even as I’m typing these words, I’m thinking about two ministry trips I have on my calendar for August, a new sermon series that will begin in September, different ways I can help my staff be more productive, and on and on.
Where do you go for rest? If I understand my Bible, the answer is simple: we go to Jesus…we give him all of our worries, all of our doubts, and all of our pressure, and we trust Him. We trust His presence in our lives to be the only provision we need.
Summer breaks, vacations, sabbaticals, whatever you want to call them, are great. I’m very thankful that the church gives me this opportunity each summer. But I need to remember that genuine “rest” comes from living in the presence and provision of Jesus, and that’s something that can happen every day.