Most of us look forward to summer for a multitude of reasons. One of the things I personally am looking forward to the most this summer is down time and a break from our normal craziness of the school year. If we aren’t careful, though, we can even make our summers turn into crazy very quickly. There are so many fun and wonderful things about summer, let’s choose to be intentional about our rest and relaxation as well.
Do you ever feel guilty about resting and relaxing? No more guilt, friends! Even the God of the universe rested. In fact, He took a whole day and rested after creating the world. And Jesus, while ministering here on earth, took time away as well. Rest and relaxation is a much needed aspect of our lives that often goes by the wayside during busy times of the year.
The definition of rest is: cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength. Sometimes even thinking about rest can make us uncomfortable or even stressed. We think we can’t possibly “cease work” or go a whole day (or even a few hours) without getting something crossed off our to-do list. Let’s face it, the world we live in has a fast-paced, multi-tasking, never stop, keep on trucking kind of mentality. Before we decide to rest, we must decide that rest and relaxation is indeed a good thing.
What if, in our rest, we made more space for God? What if, in our relaxing, we were able to be still before God and actually listen to His still small voice? What if, when we set aside the distractions of our day, we see God’s beauty all around us that we hadn’t noticed before? What if…
5 Verses to Help You Relax This Summer
Genesis 2:1-3 “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
God created the world. The whole wide world. And, then? Then, He rested. The God of the universe, Almighty Creator God, He rested. Can you believe it? I don’t believe He rested because He actually needed it or was tired and worn out from creating. I believe He rested because He was giving us an example… showing us what we need to do… letting us know that rest is important.
Exodus 23:12 “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.”
God commanded a Sabbath for each of us. God knew how much we would need it. God also knew how hard it would be for us to attempt it. So, He offers Himself as an example of resting on the seventh day. When we are obedient we reap the rewards. We come back to the task at hand refreshed and energized after a time of rest and relaxation. God prepares us in our stillness. God is at work all the while.
Psalm 46:10 “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’”
God knows best. He knows that sometimes we need to slow down and be still before Him to truly know Him. Sometimes we are so busy that we drown out the voice of God and the movement of God. Sometimes being still before Him allows us to hear His voice in ways we couldn’t have if we kept going full speed ahead.
Matthew 11:28-30 “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.”
When Jesus speaks, we must listen. If we choose to believe in His miraculous birth, His death and resurrection, why can’t we believe that His yoke is easy and His burden is light? Sometimes we look at our crazy life and think HOW in the world is His burden light? Is it that we are carrying things that aren’t of Him? Are we choosing times of rest?
Luke 6:12-13 “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles.”
Jesus got away on a mountainside multiple times in Scripture. He knew that to continue giving His life as an offering to His Father, He needed to get alone and pray. Right before He chose His disciples, He prayed all night. Summer is the perfect time, we know there are big things ahead and possibly a busy autumn season. Now is the time to get away to our mountainside and spend time in prayer
, being still before God and relaxing with some down time.
It is to our detriment that our world looks at rest and relaxation as laziness so often. God’s Word is full of admonition to slow down, rest, be still and get away by ourselves. We see God, Himself, resting on the seventh day. We see Jesus getting away on a mountainside by Himself. This summer let’s heed the wisdom of our Father and spend time resting our physical bodies as well as our souls. Let’s be still before God and know Him more. Let’s get away to our mountainside and pray. Let’s be intentional about our sabbath rest.
Candace Crabtree is just a broken mama thankful for grace and new mercies every morning. She and her husband live in East Tennessee where they homeschool their 3 kids. Candace also enjoys teaching piano, coffee, good books and blogging at His Mercy Is New. On her blog she shares encouragement for weary women from God's Word along with resources for learning to pray the Scriptures.
Publication date: May 27, 2016