You think that when you rest, you’re doing nothing.
You think that when you rest, you’re wasting time.
You think that when you rest, you’re saying no to all your Shoulds.
You think these things because you’ve forgotten… Rest is a verb.
Even my son’s toy helicopter needs to recover. As I’m writing, it lights up and says, “My propeller spins round and around, lifting me off the ground… I’m flying to the airport…” Then it says, “Let’s rest,” and powers down.
I watch him playing with a pile of toys. I look around the room at all the Things To Do. I think, rest… what does it even mean? I look up the word in Oxford’s English Dictionary. It says, simply, “Cease work or movement in order to relax, sleep, or recover strength.” One sentence. Four verbs. Cease, relax, sleep, recover.
But why bother looking up a word we use every day?
Because if Rest is a verb… then when you are resting, you are doing. You are purposely choosing, you are actively planning, you are making provision for something that matters. You are laying aside the tasks and needs, the busyness that could occupy you all day long, and then the next day, and then the next… to recover.
I read on, and a second definition is, “Allow to be inactive in order to regain strength or health.” To rest is to regain what’s been lost. To store up health for what comes. To find our strength again.
To rest is to remember Someone. The One who made the Earth, the seas, the skies, and all that’s in them, with just a word. He did it all in just six days. What a Father we have. But at the end of that week… He chose to rest.
And He asked us to do the same. He asked us to take the seventh day of every week, to make it holy, to make time for rest. He asked ancient Israeli farmers to take the seventh year of every farming period to let their fields rest. And He Himself, when He walked this earth, made time to rest, time to pray, time for quiet, time to linger at a table with friends.
He knew this world would be a lot of work. He knew that with our tender human hearts, we’d see the work that needs doing, the activities that need planning, the places to see, and we’d be tempted to just… keep going. And going. And going. And going.
But He also knew our human frailties. He also knew that we will burn out. We will burn up.
Maybe talking about rest won’t be popular during this… what some call the busiest season of the year. But the One we are celebrating… the One we are remembering…the One who came to save you… is the same One who said, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
You think that when you rest, you’re doing nothing
You think that when you rest, you’re wasting time
But the fact is, when you rest, you’re remembering the One
Who came to tell the weary, Come to Me.