At the beginning of the new year, there always seems to be this sense in the air that because it is a new year there is more energy running through everyone and everything. Setting goals for the 12 months ahead, we start out (sometimes) with such energy and excitement in the planning of it yet not so much in the actual doing of it. But honestly, and I'm sure I am not the only one, I have started this year with not anywhere near the amount of energy and excitement that I longed to have. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday festivities and busy schedules and the start to a new time period, it is hard to find or make time for true rest.
Many have the resolution to get in better physical shape for the new year, which is a great goal in staying healthy and stewarding your body well. If we miss out on the main components of being healthy though, we won't be successful. You can exercise all you want, eat as healthy as possible, and do whatever else to be healthy, but without the key ingredient of rest in your plan, it won't be fully successful. Our physical bodies need rest, they require rest. We need rest to give time for our bodies to heal. We need rest so we can have the energy to fulfill our callings in life and to simply make it through the day being present.
Just as our physical bodies need rest, our spirits long for and desperately need true rest.
In our fast-paced world, we often hear the word rest and get a bad taste in our mouths. We think that rest means taking away from using time productively. We often feel it is a waste of time and keeps us from getting stuff done, which is why we fill our cups with caffeinated drinks and work longs hours. But after all this hustle and bustle, we crash and we are drained. And often times our spirits are treated in the same way we treat our physical bodies. What if we lived differently though? What if we made time for rest, making it a priority?
The only one who can restore a soul is the very One Who created it. Our souls desperately need rest in the presence of our Creator. Resting in Him is the only place we can go where we will be truly healed, refreshed, and completely restored. When we live this life spinning our wheels, trying so hard for the next big thing, and running on little to no rest, our hearts feel empty and worn, we lose passion and purpose and forget what we are even living for.
Rest doesn't hold us back, it propels us forward. Resting in Jesus, which means entering into His presence, being still in His presence, is the only place our souls can receive the restoration we crave and need. So make time today, and everyday. Make time for being with the One who blessed you so abundantly with this life in this first place. When we rest with Him, we are filled to overflow with His love, touching every life around us and changing the atmosphere wherever we go. If we want to see lives healed and changed, if we want to see captives set free, if we want to see the kingdom of God grow and the lost come home, we must first begin with ourselves by fully giving ourselves to the Lord every day. Start your every day, every moment in giving your soul back to Abba, letting restoration overcome your weary soul. We desperately need Him and cannot afford to go a day without His resurrection power in our lives.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30