I don’t know how to rest. It’s not something that comes naturally to me, so the last thing on my mind is taking time off. But people weren’t made to run 24/7, despite what we tell ourselves.
As you read this post this morning, I’m heading home from a week-long vacation in Estes Park, thanks to some very dear friends who let me stay in their wonderful little cabin. I needed rest so desperately.
Rest looks different for each person. Some people need activity and socializing. Others need structure. For me, rest involved not talking, not wearing real pants, and watching cooking shows and nerdy movies for a week. After about three full days of that, I felt a bit more human. (If you’re an introvert, you totally get this.)
Everybody needs to rest. Everyone needs to take intentional time to refocus and refresh and restore themselves, and for a Christ-follower that means spending some real one-on-one time with Jesus (you know, in between cooking shows).
Even Jesus had to rest. So how did He do it? That’s what I asked myself as I started off on this journey. How did Jesus rest? And I thought I’d pass along what I learned from Jesus.
Jesus got away from the crazy
Jesus was the most popular guy in every town He visited. Crowds flocked around Him to hear Him speak, to be healed, to see Him. Can you imagine being surrounded by thousands upon thousands of people every moment of every day? I would self-destruct.
When Jesus got tired (because He did), He made time to separate Himself from the noise and chaos of the crowds. He got away. (Matthew 8:18)
Jesus spent time with God
Does that mess with your head? Yes, Jesus spent time with Father God, even though Jesus Himself is God. Don’t try to make sense of it. It’s not something our puny brains can understand. Just realize that Jesus took time (frequently, according to Scriptures) to talk to God, to be quiet with God, to listen to God. So we probably should too. (Luke 5:15-16)
Jesus connected with His inner circle
Jesus had best friends. He loves everyone, and He loved all His disciples, obviously. But there were three (some people believe four) guys who He just enjoyed spending time with—Peter, James, and John. And when Jesus was seeking God’s will and needing support, He turned to those three men. (Matthew 17:1; Matthew 26:36-38)
You may be an introvert who needs your space, but that doesn’t mean you should become a recluse. God puts people in your life for a reason. Granted, that doesn’t mean you are required to spend every waking moment with those people, but you shouldn’t cut yourself off from human contact. God didn’t create us to be alone.
Jesus took care of Himself
This is one of the funniest moments in the Bible for me. Can’t you just imagine the storm? The disciples were just minding their own business when a massive storm kicked up on the Sea of Galilee, and they all freaked out. They went running to Jesus, and they found Him asleep. (Mark 4:38)
Dude, Jesus must sleep like I do. When I’m out, there’s not much that can wake me up.
Jesus took intentional steps to rest. He made it a priority because He was human too, just like us. So if Jesus was intentional about rest, why aren’t we? Do we think we can do more than Jesus?
Sure, this week has been great, but I can’t just drop everything and run away to the mountains for an entire week whenever I want. You probably can’t either. So that means I need to learn how to integrate these strategies into my daily life. That means I need to start seeing myself and my goals from a more realistic perspective.
Rest is something we all need, so it’s something we can be intentional about. I don’t know about you, but I’m taking steps to make sure I rest. That way, I can always be at my best, and I can always be available to do what God has called me to do.