Tiredness and rest

Tiredness and rest

As I write this blog post (in late December), I am feeling tired. Not that kind of tiredness that comes after one hard day’s work, but the kind that builds up over time. This tiredness is the result of many months of high-level work. You know the feeling; I am sure many of you can relate to it. It’s when you lose motivation and that spring in your step. It’s when you wake up in the morning already feeling weary, and the idea of heading out in the evening seems too much.

By God’s grace, by the time that this post is published, I will be on long service leave and have a month to recover. Rest is a great thing and much needed for all of us. At our church, we pause all of our regular ministries except for Sunday services to give everyone a rest.

This need for rest is a good reminder to us that we are limited people. Even the most capable of us cannot do all we want to do, and we cannot maintain a high level of work without having a rest. That rest will sometimes be a good night’s sleep, and at times we may well need more than that. This need for rest shouldn’t be something we feel guilty about. Needing rest and having limitations is part of who we are.

The good news is that God doesn’t need rest in the same way we do. When we sleep, or when we have a break, God is still working to sustain the world He has made. God is working by His Spirit to change hearts and convict people of sin and point people to Jesus. God, in his kindness, involves us in His work, yet we cannot do what God does or maintain the effort God maintains.

Knowing and feeling our limitations is good for us. We need God more than we know. We need to know that when we have a rest, the world keeps going. If we are involved in ministry, our absence doesn’t mean that God is not working.

One day we will have ultimate rest and no longer feel the weariness of our sin, the sin of others, and our deep human limitations. We look forward to this rest, but we’re not there yet.

If you have the opportunity to rest this time of year, do so with gladness. It is a gift to know there are seasons to the year and to life, and in all of them, God is still working.