You just finished midterm number four of the week. You put in overtime hours for the fifth week in a row. You think you might be the new Guinness World Record Holder of “Most Loads of Laundry Done in One Week.” Our college students are about to have their long-awaited spring break in just a few days, but I can’t help but think that many of us need to take a break. Whether you’re a college student drowning in school work, a working professional wondering how you possibly worked that many hours, or a parent in a never-ending laundry day, we can all learn something about resting well. Whether you have the perks of an entire week off, have only 26 minutes—NASA researchers’ ideal nap time, or maybe you feel like you have no time, you need to rest.
So, let’s play a game, Two Truths and a Lie about rest. You won’t even have to guess, and for our sake, it will be A Lie and Two Truths.
1. Lie—I can and should say yes to everything.
If we’re honest, the root of our belief that we don’t need rest is pride. We overestimate the amount of time and energy we’re able to give. We find ourselves saying yes to every coffee date, play date, and business meeting. Why? Because we either think we can handle it all or we’re afraid we won’t meet someone else’s expectations.
Maybe you’re like me and fall into the former camp. I say yes because deep down I really believe that I am capable of not only juggling absolutely everything but doing so with pizzazz. I have become a sort of God-replacement, trying to function in a way only the Lord can. Perhaps you fall into the latter camp. Nearly crippled by the thought of disappointing someone you love and respect, so you say yes even though you know you don’t have the time or energy. Rather than making yourself a God-replacement, you make others a God-replacement, elevating their approval to that of the Lord’s. In both camps, we long our eyes are on ourselves. But God…
2. Truth—God made you to rest.
After God created the world, he rested on the seventh day. God didn’t need to rest; he’s God. Tim Keller says, “Since God rested after his creation, we must also rest after ours.” Our work—whether it is in a classroom, an office, or a home—displays how God has invited us into creation. As people made in the image of God, we rest because God rested. Resting isn’t the antithesis of productivity. It doesn’t make you lazy. It makes you more like God and makes you remember who God is. I not only physically, mentally, and emotionally need rest, I need rest spiritually for two reasons: to reorient myself to who God is and to remember that I am not God. Therefore, delight in rest because you were made for it.
3. Truth—God is your rest.
There is a great hope in resting well. Our time and energy are no longer about our own productivity, performance, or people-pleasing. They are an overflow of the life we have been given because of Jesus. He rested in the grave for three days and rose to life that you might rest in eternal life with God the Father. He delights in you because he made you in his image. He delights in you because in Christ he sees Jesus’ work rather than your sin. Jesus says to us in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” He doesn’t say do more, he says “Come.”
Lord, as you delight in us now through Jesus, may we be a people who delight in the rest he gives. Amen.
-Greta Griswold (College Resident)