Each of us approaches rest differently yet in the same way. We are all the same in that when we rest we do something that we love doing. Something that helps us relax, enjoy, wind down, be creative and not do actual work. We do it differently in that each person has a unique group of activities that they love to do which helps them rest.
The problem is that these things, while good and beneficial and helpful in improving perspective and reducing stress aren’t actually giving me rest on the inside. My problems are still there. When I get home or the movie finishes or I put down my book and leave that ‘world’ I instantly return to the place of reality where my life isn’t perfect and my situation, circumstances, personal issues and relationship problems are still there. My finances usually don’t change for the better when I go on holidays.
Holidays and times of ‘rest’ can simply become an alternate world, a brief stress reliever, a momentary soothing of any pains in life that will still be there when I return. In that sense they can seem like a dream. A surreal experience that, when you return feel like they may never have happened.
So where do we find real rest then?
Simple. In the presence of Jesus.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Doing what you love is great. There’s no doubt it’s helpful. But time in the presence of God is far greater. Why? That’s a big question with a long answer. So here’s one small part of it. Because faith is restored when you connect to a big powerful God who loves you. Problems lose their power when viewed in comparison to God who can change anything and empower you through it. We receive peace and hope in the presence of God. We find our burdens lifted, our soul lightens, our mind rested, our emotions blessed.
So take a holiday, read a great book, walk many beaches, explore new things, play your favourite video games, engage and play with your kids and do what you love to do… but don’t forget that true rest doesn’t come from doing… but from going to the person of Jesus and finding peace in God’s presence.