I am, by my own admission, terrible at rest. I don't enjoy it in the least bit. Once, when I was put on bed rest, it was like torture. When I have the flu, at the exact moment I feel I can stand up without passing out, I'm going around and doing something.
I'm productive by nature. If I watch TV, I also fold laundry. If I'm walking from one room to the next, I'm carrying something that needs to be moved there. It might sound like I'm a work-aholic, and maybe I am, but the fact is that I enjoy work. I like to work hard. I like the feeling of accomplishment, whether it is cleaning out a closet or making a meal.
But interestingly, Jesus talks quite a bit about rest. God famously rested after creating the whole world.
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, "Come unto me, all who are weary and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Then right after that, in verse 29, He says, "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."
Although physical rest is important, the rest of the soul is the most remarkable. Although our body sleeps, our souls do not. And when you think about it, how do we actually get our souls to rest? How do we calm ourselves down? Even when I'm sitting perfectly still, my mind is racing through this and that.
Rest like this can only be achieved through the One who created our souls. Jesus promises us He is gentle, humble, and that we will find rest in Him. He calls to the weary and burdened. And rest in Jesus encompasses so much: physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, relational...the list is almost endless.
He only requires this: that we come to Him. Is anything quite as frantic as the holidays? As the world buzzes by you in a blurred, frenzied rush to celebrate what many don't even understand, you can stand still in Him, your soul can be quieted, and your burdens can be taken.
I am so glad He gives rest, He requires it for us, and He helps us to it.
Jesus not only tells us to rest, He is the rest.