Summer is over. Mornings spent sleeping in and lingering over a cup of coffee have come to an end. Vacations at the beach and afternoons lying out by the pool are sweet memories. The school year has resumed and with it early morning alarms, hectic schedules, and families pulled in different directions.
Are you like me and wish summer would never end?
Interestingly, Scripture doesn’t speak of extended breaks or vacations. However, holidays, celebrations, and rest it does talk about and all of these are related to remembering, celebrating, and enjoying God and what He has done.
Our Savior didn’t take a vacation to the beach but He did take breaks from his busy teaching schedule to rest. He enjoyed sweet fellowship with beloved friends. He feasted on good food and participated in celebrations. He also rested from his work by getting away from the crowds to be alone with his Father. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).
The truth is, the rest and peace we experience during the summer is always with us.
It’s not some elusive thing we can only find while walking on the beach or laying beside a pool. We can find that quiet and solace even in the midst of our crazy days. It’s found in communion with Christ.
Jesus came to bring us freedom from slavery to sin. He came to relieve us of our burdens. He came to give rest to our weary souls. “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” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Jesus is the source of all rest.
Through faith in what he has done, in his life, death, and resurrection, that rest is ours. And when we are in communion with him, no matter where we are, no matter how busy our days, we always have peace and rest.
A few of the ways we can seek and find our rest in Christ:
1. Clear Away the Clutter
The reason why summer is often so relaxing is because there aren’t so many things vying for our attention. Perhaps we need to pull back and reexamine what is important. Is it really necessary to fill every waking moment of our days with activities? What do we waste time on? What are our motives for the commitments we’ve made? Is there anything we are doing that doesn’t bring God glory? What clutters up our lives that we need to clear away?
2. Set Aside Time for Quiet
David said, “In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3). Jesus often rose early in the morning and went to the olive groves to pray and be with his Father. Some days it might be longer than others. For some, evenings might work better than mornings. Whatever time of day, it is important to set aside specific quiet time to be with Jesus.
3. Create a Quiet Sanctuary in Your Heart
For those whose lives are busy and chaotic (like moms!) create a place of quiet in your heart where you can go, even in the midst of the clamor. In that place, you can remember God’s word, pray a short prayer, cry out to God, and apply the gospel to your daily struggles. This is why memorizing God’s word is so important. You can recall His truth, no matter where you are and how busy you are.
4. Take Time to Enjoy God’s Handiwork in Creation
Exploring what God has made and seeking His glory in His handiwork is another way to find rest and communion with him. Worship Him and praise Him for all he has done. Be amazed and filled with wonder at His power and might. Stand breathless before a majestic mountain or a radiant sunset. Listen to the roaring of the ocean’s waves. Watch a butterfly alight on a flower. And pray the words of Nehemiah: “You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you” (Nehemiah 9:6).
Summer may be over and with it lazy days. But the rest we have in Christ is eternal and will never end.
Do you know this rest?