One of the goals we have in helping your youth ministry is to provide you something that is desperately needed but hard to get as a student pastor. What I am talking about is rest. We have been commanded to follow God’s example and rest. On the seventh day of creation God rested. Jesus, who was God with skin on, took time to get a way and rest, and even take a nap from time to time. But if you are like me, this is one of the most difficult commands to follow. There are two reasons for this though. One is that there are many demands on my time and sometimes it is hard to schedule in rest or have others understand that I do not have to be at every single event that our church or a student has. As a fellow student pastor you probably understand this. We are pulled in many directions between our families, our students, their parents, other church members, and even our staff members. Because of this rest is often just something that is difficult to find time to do. But there is another reason I struggle with rest that I think many of you can relate to.
I am definitely one of the people that tends to lean towards the philosophy of, “I can rest when I am dead.” I am very driven and want to be a good steward of the time God has given me on this earth. So I often want to make sure that I am accomplishing something for His kingdom, be it writing, serving, building relationships, or even planning an event. Because of this it is hard for me to stop and just rest because I feel wasteful and like nothing is being accomplished.
But I, and you must find times to rest. We must set up healthy boundaries in our ministries and in our families, and find accountability so that we keep in line with those boundaries. This way we can do what we have been commanded to do, and need, rest.
This is because rest is about more than just keeping another rule. It is about us caring for ourselves so that we can better care for others. But more importantly rest is about us remembering that we rely on God and not on ourselves. Remember my second reason for struggling with rest? While on the surface it is about wanting to do great things, at the root of it all it is simply about the fact that I struggle with trusting God to care for me and work in the world around me. Instead I feel I must do it all on my own. But by taking time to stop and rest, I am not only getting what God knows I need, but I am reminding myself that God is who supplies everything that I need and I do not make my own way. Instead I rely on the loving God of the universe who knows the number of hairs on my head.
So this week, and every week, make sure that take time to follow one of the most important and yet difficult commandments, the commandment to rest.
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