There are good examples from Jesus of choosing rest over endless activity. Do you remember the story of him sleeping in the boat? After a strenuous, busy day of teaching and serving the crowd, Jesus makes the call for rest. They needed to leave the work in the crowd unfinished and go somewhere else. So, they climb in a boat and head across the lake.
Jesus knew the value of resting. He worked hard and he slept solid. They had to wake him up in the middle of a storm. He was able to rest because he fully trusted in God. When the proverbial ‘what if’ hypothetical situation actually materialized, he was able to respond to the crisis with authority.
Jesus was able to sleep in storms and wake with solutions. When people are uncertain about what to do, there is an old adage about ‘sleeping on it.’ The disciple of Jesus learns the value of ‘resting on it’. I do not have peace or a solution today, so I commit myself to the care of God and rest in spite of my unanswered concerns.
We have often read of the Master leaving the crowd to be alone or sometimes with a smaller number of friends to pray and wait on God. Then he would resume a full life of meeting with people, travelling and working at the Heavenly Father’s business.
Followers of Jesus can learn much about work and rest from the One who worked six days and rested on the seventh. What happens to us if we do not learn to rest? What happens if we keep going without a break?
Without rest you will find yourself restless. Without a break, you will break. Sometimes people burn out and give up following Jesus because they have not learned to trust God and rest when God rests.
There are people who grow weary in doing good things. When change does not come as quickly as they had hoped—when they meet resistance and ingratitude, they are tempted to stop. What is the use of trying?
If we can only measure by the things our flesh craves, we will be disappointed and give up doing the best things. If we look at Jesus we find someone who stayed on course because he knew how to rest and how to wait for the slow moving growth.