In these past few years of college, I’ve loved getting to talk with friends, residents, and clients about their lives and hear pieces of their hearts. After many of these convos, I want to just give my friends a hug and tell them how loved they are. Surprisingly, many common themes popped up in the different moments and conversations I’ve gotten to participate in, so I wanted to write a little series to address some of these common topics. Whether we’ve talked about this in person or not, I hope that this letter resonates with you and that you feel seen and loved in this little series.
I know you’re busy and you have deadlines to meet and dreams to achieve, but please let yourself take a break. Your worth isn’t in what you accomplish. It’s not in the word count of your essay or how many minutes you worked out for or the number of dates you’ve been on or how many people you served at church this week. You have immeasurable worth simply by existing, because Jesus has poured out His worth on you. Don’t keep trying to accomplish in order to earn the right to rest, because God has already given rest to you as a gift. It’s not a right you earn, but a gift you can enjoy.
I know that resting feels counterintuitive in a culture that’s as fast-paced and go-go-go as this one. Won’t we miss out on what God wants us to be doing if we take a break? But here’s the secret: true rest fuels you for what God has called you to do. Being exhausted won’t make you more effective for the Kingdom; it will simply make you sick, possibly grumpy (if you’re like me), and in need of more rest. Rest is not a “pause” button, but is an integral part of God’s design and plan. God isn’t in a rush–He will accomplish His purposes through you on His timeline, and that timeline includes seasons of rest. It’s not up to you to hold the baton for God’s Kingdom; it’s up to you to allow God to hold you as He works His Kingdom purposes on earth.
Ultimately, rest reveals a steady trust in God (check out Isaiah 30:15 if you don’t believe me). When we rest, we admit that we can’t do it all. Friend, we’re not supposed to do it all. **cue giant sigh of relief** We’re supposed to run to God–that’s legit what God has designed us to do. Do you know how many times God is described as a “refuge” in Psalms?! It’s a ton (Psalms 14, 18, 46, 62, 71, 91…the list goes on)! Run to God as your refuge, and choose to rest in Him. I know it goes against culture, but that’s kinda the point! We’re called to be transformed by Christ and countercultural (Romans 12:1-2). As we rest in God, He teaches and renews and transforms and works in and strengthens and uses us as His disciples. One aspect of discipleship is boldly resting in our Heavenly Father’s love.
Sometimes we get so swept up in good earthly things that we assign them the priority level of heavenly things. For instance, instead of obsessing over working out from your own strength and reaching your personal fitness goals, allow God to work out His faith and power in you as He accomplishes His Kingdom goals. It’s good to enjoy healthy foods, but if you’ve memorized more food labels and calorie counts than passages of God’s Word, we have a problem. Take a break.
And please don’t compare yourself to others. It doesn’t matter what they’re doing, how many figures they make, how much they’re lifting, what degree they’re earning, or how many miles they can run…because God has not called you to be them. God has called you to be the human He designed in you, and I’m so glad because you are a gift to me and to the rest of the world.
It’s okay–in fact, it’s actually good and actually 10000% necessary–to take breaks. God doesn’t call you to continuous frantic working; He calls you to Himself. Come to Him, breathe, invite Him to take care of your world and of the world. Dear friend, take a nap.
Extra reading: Luke 10:25-37; Psalm 18:1-3