Rest can be painful
About the author: Jason grew up in Zionsville and became familiar with ZPC through serving on a few Great Banquet teams. He moved, along with his wife, Stephanie, and two daughters, June and Rose, from Michigan in May 2020 to come on staff at ZPC as the Associate Director of Worship. They currently live in Carmel.
In a culture that feeds upon our ability to say, “yes” and then produce the continual temptation to stay busy, I find myself in a position to simply reach for the cup of coffee and slowly surrender to the reality that this is just the way life is. I can easily justify that God created me to work as a little “C” creator to honor Him while providing for my family as a husband and a father, as well as juggle relationships with family and friends and people from concentric circles, thus the proverbial snowball rolls. Plain said, it is easy to be busy.
On June 9th, I made a critical error during a home project and fell through the attic drywall into my kitchen, landing on my left shoulder, breaking my clavicle. It has completely limited many of my normal abilities - household chores, hugging my wife, holding my daughters, changing diapers, even playing my guitars. And yet, even limited and against suggestions from family and friends, I find myself fighting that limitation and doing these things anyway. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned about limitation.
If we look to God’s intention on how he created us, we should be quick to take note that he built into our way of living a day of rest. A day of ceasing. A literal STOP. Just because we sinned and distorted our identity, God’s original design for humanity didn’t change. Ceasing, stopping, or resting is still very much a part of our human need. When God took on flesh, he embodied humanity for our sake and, as Jesus’ life displayed, he does and fulfills what Adam never could.
As a follower of Jesus, looking at his life and his ability to pull away frequently from the crowds and crowdedness of life, I wonder at how I follow in his example as a disciple. As I read through his teachings on this topic, he speaks to my need as I realize I need repair, I need rest, I need to stop. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest...for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28,30)
However, I find that resting is painful......because it exposes a lie that we have allowed in our life: that we are somehow unlimited. Resting is painful because it means we need to stop trying to always get ahead in life. Resting is painful because we don’t want anyone to look at us as incapable or perhaps even lazy.
I don’t desire these words to lead to a fight over a commandment issue; I want to speak for a life-giving issue. And rest is one of those things. But just as I was given a limitation with my injury (and still battle with following it), we should all realize our limitation toward saying, with fervent frequency, “yes” for we are not God.
Jesus gives us permission to rest in him.
He allows me to simply pick up my cup of coffee, find rest, and see that this is the way life can be.
I can find rest, in my limitation, with Jesus, for he is God and I am not.