rest.jpgHe got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. Mark 4:39 (NIV)

What does rest look like to you? Maybe a vacation, a day at the spa, or perhaps just a good book that turns into a long nap on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Rest is vital for our bodies. We are hard wired to desire rest, and when our bodies and minds don’t get it, things start to break down. We know that God rested (Genesis 2:2), and He even gave us a whole day each week for rest. What a cool God. But do we use that day for rest? Probably not.

Although the Advent Season is truly my favorite time of year, I seem to have a frenzy of storms around me. Some can be emotional—will my expectations be met this year? Some can be spiritual—am I really taking the time to celebrate the birth of Christ or am I getting caught up in all that I have made it? Some can be physical—can my body handle the stress of everything on my to-do list?

With all that was on His plate, even Jesus found time to rest. In the Book of Mark, Jesus needed a rest from His crowds of followers, so He set out on a journey across the Sea of Galilee with His disciples. On the way, Jesus took a nap. A storm began to rage, and although several of His disciples were seasoned fishermen, they panicked. Jesus, a carpenter, rose from his nap, rebuked the wind, and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”

Do you ever need someone to give you permission to be quiet, to be still? This snapshot of Scripture is typically given to show the disciples’ lack of faith, but what it says about rest is just as powerful. First, even Jesus knew when enough was enough. He got away from all the crowds and chaos and surrounded Himself with the people closest to Him, His disciples. Next, He made time for rest. And finally, He calmed the seas — what a beautiful picture! Jesus even makes the seas rest. One of my favorite songs asks, “Who am I that the voice that calmed the sea would call out through the rain and calm the storm in me?” The same voice tells you to be quiet, be still. So be like Jesus—take a break from all the crowds and activities, surround yourself with those you love, and let the peace of Christ give you rest.

Father, help me to be quiet and to be still. Give me Your peace that passes all understanding amidst the storms that life brings.

What does rest realistically look like for you this Season? Do you take enough time to give yourself sufficient rest? If not, how can you change that?