Rest is deeply connected to trust. Here’s Jesus’ question to his followers from Matthew 28:11-12 (The Message):
“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.”
In order for us to get the rest that our bodies, our minds, and our souls need, we must entrust our time, our reputations, and all the outcomes of our lives to Jesus. Thankfully, He modeled this perfectly for us. His way of life is the only sustainable one; and knowing that, He invites His students to follow Him into rest.
I recently went on a short getaway to practice some silence and solitude; and during those couple of days of reflecting, I discovered that I was dangerously tired. I’m sharing with you something that I am learning and desperately need to practice. It’s not easy to start, and it’s completely counterintuitive, but it’s the path to life together. The rest that we need is a result of giving up control and ultimately comes from abandoning our lives of image-managing and the endless pursuit of more. We need to place all of our whole life in the loving and capable hands of our Father, who’s always attentive and willing; and choose to live with Him in His kingdom, His house, with Him fully in charge of everything… forever.
On another occasion, Jesus invites His friends to come away for a while and get some rest. This was right after some intense ministry and the beheading of their friend John the Baptist. Jesus was keenly aware of their need to rest, physically, emotionally, and mentally. He gave them the invitation, and permission to just be with Him for a while. Dallas Willard, whom I greatly admire as a writer and teacher, quotes, “If you don’t come away for a while, you’ll come apart in a while.” That’s been my experience, and I’d love to explore what would happen if we accepted the offer to rest.
So, I want to set before us this invitation. It’s here. We can trust Jesus fully right now. Go away with Him and get some rest. I think we all need it, often.
-Seth Condrey, North Point Worship