Come to me and I will give you rest

by Alan Rudge, Reader

As I write this it is raining and dull and hardly the weather to think about holidays, sunshine and rest. July and August are the time most of us get away for a break of some kind, although many of us who are retired have more choice! An opportunity to rest, relax and get refreshed. Unless, of course, you like holidays to be active, non-stop fun, when you probably enjoy getting home for a rest!

oct2013 082 (1)Rest is something God ordained and set us an example right from the start at creation. We have been designed to find time to rest in order to recharge our batteries; to give us time to be with family and friends; to spend time with God. In our hectic lives it sometimes seems almost impossible to find time for rest, there always seems to be so much that needs doing – and if I don’t do it who will? God doesn’t want us burnt out through work.

Jesus said:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Jesus himself frequently went off to a quiet place to rest, to be with his Father. He encouraged the disciples to find rest too:
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, Jesus said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

scotland2015 218 (1)We should follow Jesus’ example and use the opportunities we have to find a place for rest and reflection. We also need time with family to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Holidays away from the bustle and disturbances of home are a great way to do that. But we also need to feed on God’s word and we need quiet and a restful place to do so. We all need to take stock of what takes up our time and deprives us of the time to be with him.

When I was still working full-time as a teacher, I knew that the day would go better if I started it by spending time with God. Often that was a short time but he helped me through the day. A Christian colleague always prayed every morning for the classes she would teach that day and I rarely went into a calmer classroom than hers.

As you prepare for your holidays this summer, where ever you are planning to go and whatever you are going to do, take time within that break to be with God. Drink in the beauty of his creation, the sunrises and sunsets, the sea and the mountains reflecting on how great and wonderful our God is.

May you have a truly relaxing and blessed holiday.

Alan Rudge