Jesus, while on the cross, gave us a beautiful example of selflessness and love when he said, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). Even on the cross, Jesus was seeking the Lord’s will. As we live out our “temporary” lives on this earth, we need to be seeking the Lord’s will for our lives, too. Quite often, it is the opposite, where we are seeking things for ourselves. We can reflect on our lives before being followers of Christ and recall the times when our lives were solely fixated on our own fleshly desires. Then, after coming to know Christ,
we may still stumble at times to seek the Lord’s will and obey. This is why Jesus taught us, in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Indeed, we need to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. And this is not an easy endeavor. We can sometimes lose focus or simply assume that serving is all the Lord wants. And if we only serve and serve and serve some more, we are fulfilling the royal law in James 2:8, “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well.” But we need to be careful in the undertaking of serving, that we exhaust ourselves to the point of exhaustion and sickness.
Rest is important. Sabbath rest is important. After all, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. But how are we going to love our neighbor if we forget how to love ourselves in a healthy way? We need to know our physical abilities and to know when our spiritual health might be waning. Consider vacations: who does not return home from vacation only wishing they had a few more days to recover from the vacation? This is because we are confounding rest with vacation and then correlate vacation as the opposite of “not going to my work place”. On top of this, who is not guilty of bringing their work with them to vacation? It is no real wonder why we are so tired! The Lord knew we needed a day to rest after 6 days of work. After all, even the Lord rested on the 7th day!
True Rest is slowing down and finally stopping. True Rest is taking a breath and going to the Lord and appreciating Him, rejoicing in His greatness and basking in His wonderful creation and His presence. True Rest is trusting in the Lord to complete the task, after you’ve give it your all, for Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Let us therefore reflect on where we are at in terms of rest. For those heading to school tomorrow, remember to take time to rest. For those who are seeing their work load ramp up as their companies come out of SIP, or are at full throttle already, make sure to find time to rest in the Lord. Take a walk in a park. Prayer walk your neighborhood. Find an isolated place to pray, then journal and write what the Lord puts on your heart. Go to Jesus, He will give you rest.