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The gift of rest
Pastor Mike Novotny
by Pastor Mike Novotny
August 7, 2021

A retired pastor mentored younger ministers who were exhausted and ready to quit their jobs. “Here’s your problem,” the older pastor would say. “You’re trying to live like an angel instead of a flesh-and-blood human. Here’s your solution: First, exercise three times a week. Second, take one full day off. Third, spend at least one evening a week with your [family].” But the young pastors objected. They didn’t have the time to do that. They were behind enough as it was. But the veteran preacher wouldn’t budge. “Do those three things and call me back in a month if they don’t work.” No one ever called him back.

It takes faith to admit your limits, to decline the next heartfelt request of your time, to have a margin in your schedule to work out and sleep enough and do the good works God has lined up for you at home. This is why Jesus’ invitation is so beautiful and necessary: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). What a promise! In the frantic rush of trying to make everyone happy, Jesus simply invites us to “come” to him, no matter how weary or burdened.

So often we live for the approval of others. Sadly, you can work 80 hours a week and still disappoint someone. Thankfully, God is offering his approval as a free gift, which is all ours through faith in Jesus. Can I encourage you to picture your Father’s face today? His face is shining upon you. He is looking on you with favor. That’s what happens when your heart is resting in Jesus!