In music, there are rests. Kittens need to rest. The human body needs to rest. And Jesus Christ offers us spiritual rest. We call it “Resting in Christ.”
In music, there’s a thing called a rest. It means, “don’t do anything.” Here’s an example of a rest that you probably know:
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost …
The music wouldn’t be right without the rests. Music needs rests.
And so do kittens. Those curious little kittens curl up together and rest for the night. They need to take a break. They need to relax. They need to recover from the stress in their lives. Well, maybe kittens don’t have too much stress in their lives.
The human body needs rest; we call it sleep. A person who doesn’t sleep is considered ill.
Even the world itself takes a break: the busy day becomes the stillness of the night.
The Lord Jesus longs to lift our burdens and give us rest. We want to zoom in on the idea of resting, or more specifically, what spiritual writers call “resting in Christ.”
It is difficult for people to rest. There is always a bunch of phone messages and mail and email to answer. Work demands long hours. We have family responsibilities. So how can you add “resting in Christ” to an already-overcrowded lifestyle?
Well, the good thing is that resting in Christ can mean lots of things:
- A cloistered nun lost in contemplative bliss for three hours straight
- A quick INHALE-EXHALE of Christ’s love in-between meetings at work
- Praying in a church for an hour
- Five minutes of sitting still at the mall, secretly soaking up Christ’s love.
In whatever form it works out for you, spiritual resting has great value.
Spiritual resting implies some degree of inner silence. But for most of us, it’s hard to turn off our inner noise. There is a dialogue in our head that keeps reminding us of things we need to do. “I’ve got to pick up a gallon of milk on the way home. I wonder how Aunt Sally is doing. I need new shoes.” You get the idea.
Here’s the good thing: when you rest in Christ, the inner noise is all right. You don’t even have to pay attention to it. You can let distracting thoughts just roll in and out of your mind, and not even pay attention to them. You can let them be like tumbleweeds rolling across the stage in a movie. They just come and go.
Resting in Christ can also help those who have hit a dry spell in their prayer life. Compared to saying prayers or concentrating or meditating, even though those things are excellent, resting in Christ is easy.
Resting in Christ is easy. He comes to us, meekly and humbly. He invites us to come to him. His Holy Spirit dwells within us. He wishes to be at the center of our lives, that we may be more ourselves. He lifts our burdens. He helps us escape the trivial, and instead focus on things that are truly important.
Matthew 11:28. Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.
Even young children get it: Christ gives us rest.
To conclude this article about resting in Christ, we invite you to try it for 30 seconds. If you’re accustomed to silence, if you’re used to stillness, this’ll be easy for you. If you’re not, 30 seconds might seem like a long time.
When you can do it safely, why not try 30 seconds of actual silence?
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.