It’s hard to really rest. It’s easy to waste time. Rest is spending down time in something that restores your strength. Wasting time is when you spend time on something that has no or little benefit for you. A good example of rest for me is when I spend time studying scripture, playing music or enjoying a calm activity with friends. I’m wasting time when it is spent in too much television or games. I’m also wasting time if I’m using good rest activities to avoid responsibility.
A scripture I enjoy is Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God…” Often a physical stillness is needed, but there is a stillness of the soul that transcends activity. I read this verse and think of the anxiety that tries to eat away at my soul. I acknowledge and even proclaim that God is strong and faithful, and soon “stillness” returns. We are at peace if we are certain that our heavenly Father has our back.
Jesus talked about rest a lot. He would regularly draw away to be with his Father in prayer, but he was a man always at peace. “Abide in me,” he said. “My peace I give to you,” he said. “Let not your hearts be troubled,” he said. And he still speaks this to us, calling us to a rested life, confident in him. David would constantly declare the Lord as his refuge, the one in whom his soul delighted. This echoed in Jesus’ call to abide in love.
Many are concerned with production and progress. Rest has no value to them. What most don’t realize is that true rest is found, even in the storms of life. Rest is more productive than any human effort. Rest is the statement of our trust in God. When we do not lean on our own understanding and strength, but acknowledge the strength of the Lord in everything we do, we will not be subject to confusion but we will have clear direction. If we have the right direction, then persistence and patience become our greatest vehicles for travel, much like the tortoise who raced the hare.
Much of our ability to rest is dependant on our confidence in what is true and what is right. We have been given the Spirit of Truth for guidance. He is also known as our comforter. This Holy Spirit is a door to experience the life that Jesus lived. The more familiar we are with the Comforter, the more at rest we will be. Holy Spirit does not merely distribute peace and love, but he empowers people to live freely. Power brings security, and when you are close to the one who raised people from the dead, there is little to truly concern you.