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IBC Women’s Blog

IBC Women’s Blog

By-Jodie Montgomery

Restful Summer Anyone?

I don’t know if it is logical to connect thoughts of rest with the word summer as most of us don’t have any change of routine due to a change of season. We work (in our homes, in our professions, in our studies), regardless of the time of year. But summer, with a break from school for children, may mean vacation to you and that should relate somehow to rest-ceasing from the routine. However, I have learned through the years that vacation is NOT synonymous with rest. We pack it in on vacation! I’m hearing more and more folks say “I need a vacation from my vacation…”.

So even though I knew that summer does not equate to rest, I scheduled the women’s summer study to focus on rest. Partly, as I want to be more intentional about rest in my own schedule but primarily because I see the effects on relationships of overdoing, clutter, busyness, and living in exhaustion. And the Bible does teach on rest. Nonstop busyness breeds anxiety. We forget to recognize our limits physically and mentally. We forget to mind our own business and  can become obsessed with “controlling” what is really another’s responsibility.

1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 “But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you,  so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.”

Pursuing excess and surrounded by clutter, we forget to enjoy what we already have. In summary, a lack of rest is enslaving.

I’ve learned a lot from the summer study. Here are few Biblical teachings that have resonated with me:

  • It is good to intentionally cease from doing to remember: what I used to be, what God has accomplished, and that He is sovereign (in control).
  • Rest is a gift that helps us guard against being enslaved to crazy priorities, another’s expectations, our own flesh.
  • Being rested makes us better representatives of the Lord’s mercy, it means we place some margin in our lives so that rather than attempt to do everything, we may remember to focus on what matters most.  When our bodies are rested, we may find that we are more likely to remember others and extend His mercy in acts of kindness.
  • Rest enhances our worship.

And I have been reminded that the ultimate rest is in Christ Jesus. We should fear not entering His rest:

Hebrews 4:1 “Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.”

Without rest, we forget God’s promise of ultimate rest. Thankfully, as long as we have breath, we have opportunity to find peace with God through taking refuge in His Son and gaining forgiveness of sin as He imputes His righteousness to us when we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.

John 6:40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

1 John 3:23 “This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.”

This is the ultimate rest. Something we may enjoy every day of the year.