From the very beginning, we were created for work. This might not be the start of a blog that we were hoping for or want to read, but it is true. In Genesis 2:15, it says that Adam was created to “work and take care of” the land. God created us with a sense of purpose and fulfilment in mind that we could get out of working and serving God. Even in heaven, we will have work to do.
The problem is though, that we now live in a world with permanent distractions, demands, global injustices and social pressures that are exhausting. We have to constantly manage our time and our focus and our priorities. All the while, we have a constant stream on social media telling us to work more and work harder.
Just last week, Kim Kardashian told us that we just don’t want to work anymore! Facebook, Instagram, tik tok (and any other social media platform you may use) are flooded with people telling us to create side hustles to make more money to buy more things and achieve higher goals. We live in a world of consumerism and capitalism and, whilst I won’t get political, it isn’t how God designed it to be.
So it is no surprise then, that we just cannot keep up. We don’t have enough hours in the day to work full time jobs, be good parents, partners and friends, exercise, eat well, socialise, read, have fun and rest. We just cannot do it all.
But rest can be achieved if we prioritise Jesus, above all things. I don’t mean that we don’t turn up for our shift because we’re prioritising prayer time at home (please don’t do that!). What I mean is, we are told to come to Jesus, all who are weary and HE will give us rest. (Matthew 11:28).
Now, I don’t know about you but at times, I really am weary. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. Even more so when I keep going and keep carrying alone and I don’t come to Jesus for rest. Psalm 62:1 says, “My soul finds rest in God alone”. I too often find myself looking for rest in all the other places within my life. Sometimes I feel like I just can’t rest until the jobs are done or the dog has been walked or the kids are older or… whatever is relevant for you.
But God asks us to look beyond our immediate. To think about His Kingdom and how we can experience it now. We can be rooted in foundations that, despite weariness, are God-centred and solid. Knowing God’s character and choosing to lean into who He is, allows us to rest in a way that we just cannot find anywhere else or in anything else. When we truly know God, we know that we cannot be shaken. We know who we should look like and who we are seeking. God’s character looks like love, it looks like joy, it looks like peace. We are told in 1 Corinthians 14:33, that God is not a God of unrest or chaos but of peace.
The world and my schedule very often feel like chaos. But even in that, I know that I can choose to live in a way that surrounds me with overwhelming rest and peace. A rest that enables me to keep going with the work that God has asked me to do.
I want a life of rest. I do not want to hustle until I am broken. I don’t want to pointlessly exhaust myself getting caught up in the current grind culture. I don’t want to be obsessed with productivity because I have been told by culture that it is only then that I am worthy of rest. I want God’s rest, not as a reward but as a practice and a spiritual discipline that I prioritise. I want my life to be a vessel that is rooted in rest, peace, love, joy, patience, kindness and self control. I want these fruits of the Holy Spirit to be evident within me because I have prioritised taking the time to get to know who the Holy Spirit really is and allowed Him to work within me. I want this way of life because it is the life that Jesus has told us that He is able to provide for us. He gives us rest so that we can keep going. He gives us rest so that we can be ready to endure the race that he has set out for us.
Let us find rest in God alone, meditate on the truth of who God is and keep going with the work that He has given to us.