Celebrating Rest

There has been a running theme to how I have answered the question ‘How are you?’ in recent weeks. ‘Tired’ usually features within the first few sentences. Perhaps you can identify with that.

There is so much to be done – work, seeing friends, church, volunteering, household chores, planning ahead, catching up with family, having time to read, cook, try new things and visit new places. Some of these things feel like hard work, some of them feel refreshing and energising. I’m not going to dwell too much at the moment on what counts as work and what counts as rest – my bigger concern is this: in the midst of all the busyness (whether technically ‘work’ or not) why do I not rest?

Two things have brought this to my attention: first, a simple tweet that said something along the lines of ‘It’s hard to imagine Jesus answering the question ‘How are you?’ with ‘Busy’.’

Secondly, reading this article – Let’s Celebrate Those Who Rest.

God rested as a sign of completeness in his creation, while we get no such thing. We rest with many incomplete tasks all around us. We create, we study, we build, we write, we parent, we cook, we clean, and we do all sorts of work all throughout our days, and so often we get to the end of a long day only to be met with the disappointing reality that it’s not finished. It never truly is. All of this drives us to him, the one who doesn’t need rest and who always gets his to-do list done. When I put the to-do list down, or walk away from the project, or shut down my computer, I am declaring with my rest not only that I am not God, but that I need him to strengthen the work of my weary hands (Ps. 90:17).

I am rushing about frantically trying to get my list of jobs done – seeing people, doing good work, serving others (all good things) but with a stubborn and an alarming reluctance to admit this simple point: I cannot do everything.

There are a host of reasons as to why I find that so tough. But the reasons, though important, are not the solution. I am not going to find a way to rest by looking at all the reasons I have to keep going. I need to listen to the God who has made me to need rest.

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