Rest is something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. In part, because June and July have very busy schedules that have me feeling in need of rest, but largely because of something Bryan, our High School Director did a couple weeks ago.
The week before Youth Week, the largest student ministry event of the year, Bryan went on vacation. My initial reaction was along the lines of “are you nuts!?” I couldn’t believe that in the final moments of planning and prepping he would take the time to get away. However, the more I thought about it the more I realized what a great, and in fact biblical idea it was.
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5 NIV
These verses compare Christ to a vine from which we grow. In order to have the life and strength needed to be productive, we must remain in Him. Some translations say abide or rest in Christ in order to be prepared for the work He’s called us to do. We are to rest for our work, not to rest from our work.
This is why Bryan’s choice to take a vacation before Youth Week has so challenged and compelled me. While my schedule doesn’t allow for a full vacation until the end of July, I’m committing myself to take and even create moments between now and then to rest in God’s presence and remain closely connected to Christ.
For me, this works well out in the world God has created. Enjoying my morning coffee on the deck, going for an evening walk, or perhaps even a kayak or bike ride. No phone or music, just communion with God. It’s my hope to rest in preparation and not in reaction throughout this month.
I want to share this challenge with you. In what ways can you rest in God’s presence this week in order to soak up His strength and be prepared to do the work He’s called you to?