Today’s working force has a completely different outlook towards rest than it did half a decade back. Whereas rest and leaves were once a desired thing generally, many workers today cannot find it within themselves to take a break.
In 2013, a study conducted on the American work force showed that 42 percent of the population took not one single vacation leave. Nowadays, it’s often thought by many professionals that resting is a sign of a lack of commitment and diligence.
The Bible however teaches us otherwise. This may come as a surprise to many, but God often taught more about resting in His presence more than He did about busting out and working long hours. Matthew 28:11 teaches, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Rest for the Soul
And while many professionals do take days off, many still admit to feel tired and burnt-out despite spending some hours sleeping in and taking breaks. That’s because many look to rest the body but not the soul.
Jeremiah 6:16 (emphasis added) tells us, “This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls…”
There is a Hebrew word called M’nuha which pertains to a kind of rest that was withheld from Israel as they wandered through the wilderness for 40 years (Psalm 95:11). They were fed, they had sabbaths and they didn’t work overtime a whole lot, but they were deprived of a certain kind of rest. This rest is the rest for the soul.
If you’re burnt out today and no amount of leaves, vacations and absences take out that lack of fire in you for your career, your ministry or even your relationships, it’s likely that you don’t need rest for the body, but rest for your souls.
The tricky thing about soul fatigue is that it affects our whole being. It affects the physical and even the spiritual. A lack of passion for what we do and no delight for anything are sure signs that your should may be fatigue.
The compelling question now is “how do I get rest for my soul?” Psalm 62:1 makes it clear: “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.” We cannot work or earn our way into rest. It is God’s presence and Spirit alone that brings forth rest for the soul.
That’s why Jesus made it clear that His intention is to give us rest (Matthew 28:11) because without Him and apart from God, there can be no rest.
Is your soul fatigued now? Have you asked God for rest for your soul?