Relishing Rest

No matter how long you’ve worked in ministry you’ve probably felt tired and worn out at some point. It seems that there are never enough hours in the day to do the good work God has called us to do.

Family, work, church—it’s easy to get caught up in the activity of life. Just one more phone call. I can squeeze in another volunteer activity tomorrow. Yes, I’d love to bake six dozen cupcakes for the school fundraiser.

And by the end of the week, we wonder why we’re exhausted and sometimes empty.

God hasn’t designed us to be busy every moment of every day. In fact, God set Himself as a model for us in Genesis 2:2—“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”

It’s so important for us to rest. It’s in resting that the Spirit rejuvenates us, because that’s when we can hear God speaking. Psalm 46:10 admonishes us to “be still and know that I am God.”

sleeping baby

One of my favorite definitions of rest is “a measured interval of silence between tones.” Years ago, I found this anonymous quote, which brings that definition into focus:

“There’s no music in a rest, but there is the making of music in it. In our whole life-melody the music is broken off here and there by ‘rests,’ and we foolishly think we have come to the end of the tune. . . . Not without design does God write the music of our lives.

Be it ours to learn the tune, and not be dismayed at the ‘rests.’ They are not to be slurred over, not to be omitted, not to destroy the melody, not to change the keynote. If we sadly say to ourselves, ‘There is no music in a rest,’ let us not forget that there is the making of music in it.”

Let’s take God’s example seriously by setting aside time to relax physically and renew ourselves emotionally and spiritually.

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. —Matthew 11:28–29, MSG

Prayer: Lord, we ask that you would teach us to stop and relish the “rests” in our lives. Help us to put busyness aside so that we can sit at your feet and draw closer to you. Amen.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Terri Pierce works as a Campaign Activity Management Process Specialist at the Global Ministry Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Read all the One in Spirit devotionals.

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