“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.”Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
In this day and age, we are so busy, go go go. As Kevin Deyoung put it in his book, “Crazy Busy”, “we are here and there and everywhere. We are distracted. We are preoccupied. We can’t focus on the task in front of us. We don’t follow through. We don’t keep our commitments. We are so busy with a million pursuits that we don’t even notice the important things slipping away.”
Life is busy
If you’re anything like me, you’re really really busy. And I get bored easily if I’m not doing something. This past year I worked 3 jobs, was involved in various ministries in the church throughout the week, took dance classes when I could, studied at uni full time, and was at the beach every other moment. While it was all good, reflecting back I realised I really didn’t leave much time for God! It’s so easy to add God into our week. You know, I work Monday 8-6pm, so I think I can add God in at 6:30pm for a few minutes before I head to dance or whatever it is.
Don’t you think if we really believed the creator of the universe…the king of the world wanted to spend time with us; wanted to speak to us, we would give him our undivided attention? You see, looking closely at my life, I can very easily spend way more time on Facebook, mindlessly scrolling through my newsfeed wasting time reading random memes and irrelevant buzz feed articles, than spending time with God! Is that what the Christian life should look like?
Now I’m not talking about religion. As my pastor said this morning at church, “Jesus wrecked religion. He loves relationship.” Jesus is not at all about religion. He is not about rules and regulations. He is all about a relationship with you. All about doing life with you. The thing is, no amount of sleep or coffee (as much as those help), will allow you to get the true rest you need. If you are weary, exhausted, burned out and need rest, go to Jesus! He will restore you like no one else can. He is the only one who can fill you up, satisfy you and give you the strength to go on.
I want regular, unhurried time with Jesus. I don’t want to just fit him into a 10-minute box….he is so much bigger and better than that! I can tell you first hand that if I don’t spend time quality time with Jesus, my day is so much worse! I’m more stressed, anxious and not super joyful. It’s not worth it! If I spend quality time with Jesus, my day is so so so much better! And even if bad things happen that day, I handle them so much better because God gives me peace!
But sometimes we let the business of life get the best of us, and we don’t make time for God to renew us and give us strength again! Sometimes it can feel like the last thing you want to do when you are really exhausted is to spend time with Jesus. But I feel like that is the time when you most need to spend with him! Because in those moments he will restore you.
Isaiah 40:28-31 says, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God. The creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
God does not put heavy burdens on us. In fact, he takes them away. He already took away your burdens and your guilt and shame and nailed it to the cross. It’s dealt with. You don’t have to carry that anymore. Rest in God! Come to him and tell him about your day! He wants to hear! Tell him, and then let go and let God. He really does care, and you will be refreshed in him.
If you are looking for something practical to do to find rest in God:
JOURNAL. Write down your thoughts as if you are writing to God. This can help you to get clarity as well as concentrate on what you are telling God! But don’t just write down what want to tell God. Let him speak to you too and write down what he says! This is so super powerful!
PRAYER SOAK. Put on some worship music, and lie on the floor, bed, wherever you feel comfortable. I don’t mean go to sleep…although if you end up falling asleep, that is also okay! But lie there, you can close your eyes, and let the music wash over you. If you do this with friends they can pray over you too! Just be still and know that he is God! And listen to his voice!
COME TO GOD AT THE END OF THE DAY AND SPEND TIME REFLECTING TOGETHER. Go through your day with him. Tell him everything. Tell him the times you felt him most and the times when you didn’t feel him. Tell him the best part of your day and the worst. Thank him, and then let him speak into your day as well!
I hope that’s useful and encouraging. You need to rest to serve God effectively and powerfully. You need rest to live life well! You were designed to rest, and you were designed to only find true rest in God! Give it a try…you won’t regret it, I promise!