It’s okay to rest.
I know, I know. This message that I’m about to share is probably not what most people are going to tell you.
We hear Christians everywhere, saying “Do this project!” and “Accomplish this task!” and “Work hard to serve God!”
But if we never realize that it’s actually a good thing to rest in Jesus for a while, we’ll easily burn out.
We hear messages like Do Hard Things, and get inspired to “work hard for God.” There is a time and place for that, of course. I’m not going to minimize the message of Do Hard Things or any others like it.
However, so many times, we try to do something big. Really big. Really significant. But in our own strength. And we burn out and become discouraged.
Doing hard things is a great concept, but it can easily become just like the story of Mary and Martha. Are we so focused on doing things for God that we neglect to get to know Him?
“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.”
Rest is a good thing. In resting, we get to cast our cares at the feet of Jesus.
1 Peter 5:7
“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”
We can’t depend on our own strength to accomplish big things. For one, we can’t do it alone. And when we try, we become discouraged because we burn out.
Rest is important.
By growing our relationship with Jesus, we get to know Him. We get to set our anxieties of all kinds aside and rejoice in His strength over our own. We grow in our knowledge of Him, and also our personal knowledge of Him. He isn’t just the Lord, but He is a Friend Who Sticks Closer Than a Brother (Proverbs 18:24).
When we rest in Him, and not fret over big projects because we feel obligated to do them, we choose the greater thing.
I cited Mary and Martha earlier, and here is Jesus’ response to Martha preparing a huge dinner while Mary listens to Jesus:
But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:41-42
Work is good, of course! But if we work so hard that we lose sight of the One we should be doing it for, it becomes meaningless and can render us useless.
Whether you’re 13 or 93, know that it really is okay to rest.
Don’t get bogged down by obligation to serve God. Instead, rest and grow in Christ and let that fuel you to do what He leads you to do.
Because honestly, that is what will allow us to be effective.