Do you feel like your life lacks rest? Maybe you’ve felt this way for a while now, but feel guilty every time you take some time to catch your breath.
True, soul-rest is an essential part of human existence. We cannot just brush it aside – and yet, so many of us do just that. John Koessler shares several ways we can know if we are in desperate need of rest.
A common sign that we need rest is our physical condition.
“Lack of rest certainly can affect your health. There could be other things that contribute, but if you are exhausted all the time, you definitely want to pay attention to that.”
Perhaps the biggest indicator that you need true rest is an absence of joy in your life.
“Another way you can know you’re bearing a different kind of yoke then the one Jesus laid upon you is if you hate everything you do. I think that there are a lot of us who are sincerely and genuinely trying to follow Christ and we pretty much hate it. We are trying to serve Him, but we don’t have any sense of joy in what we’re doing.”
John’s wife Jane has instituted the rule of joy in her own life to combat this scenario.
“This shapes the decisions she makes. If it doesn’t give her a sense of joy, she doesn’t do it. I think it’s a good starting place. It doesn’t mean you can only do the things in your life that you like doing. Everybody has to do some things they don’t like doing. Whether it’s taking out the garbage or going to the doctor because you have cancer, life itself will push us into areas of discomfort.”
We are often told that God wants to push us out of our comfort zone. However, John says he doesn’t always agree with that sentiment.
“I think God wants us to move into our comfort zone. I think that Jesus’s invitation to us is to move into the comfort zone because life itself will drive you out of it, you don’t have to volunteer for it, it will happen on it’s own.”
Today, take some time to slow down and contemplate how you could adjust your lifestyle to incorporate more rest in your life.
John Koessler is chair and professor of pastoral studies at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, where he has served for over twenty years. He is the author of several books, including The Surprising Grace of Disappointment, and A Stranger in the House of God.John Koessler on the radical pursuit of rest