As you read this letter the holiday season for many people will be upon us. Holidays are good, they are a time to relax and enjoy being with family and friends or even by ourselves. A time when we have a change of pace from what becomes the everyday norm. They do not have to be somewhere abroad or somewhere expensive, they are simply a time when we do something different, when we stop watching the clock.
We all need a holiday, a break, that chance to re-charge the batteries. It isn’t a sign of weakness, people won’t think any less of us for taking a week or two off and the world won’t end. Yes this is a letter written to myself as much as it is to the rest of you.
Holidays, rest are something that God tells we need. In fact God made a day of rest, not because God needed it but because God knew that we would and do need one.
And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
God reminded us of this day of rest in the Ten Commandments, it became a requirement of the Law, because God knows it does not come naturally to us.
Exodus 20: 8-11
Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it.
The Bible defines ‘Rest’ as ‘peace, ease or refreshment’. All the ingredients that I look for in a holiday, although I recognise that if you have young children, then peace is not so easy to come by. But even then, we should be able to find sometime when we can just step away, even if it’s half an hour in the garden, or soaking in the bath.
The Bible cannot speak highly enough of rest and it comes up time and time again in the Scriptures.
Mark 6: 31
He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
Jesus knew the importance of time out to relax, to get away from everyday life, even though his time on earth was limited.
The ultimate rest for all Christians is in Christ, in this life and beyond, when he simply says to hand those things that are heavy to him.
Matthew 11: 28-30
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
During these summer months, may you find and enjoy rest in the sunshine both with family, friends and with God. Take the time to be still, to listen, you may find God surprises you as well as refreshing you.
With love and blessings for refreshment,