I recently got a chance to take a quick trip with some buddies to do one of my favorite winter activities: Skiing.

The trip was everything I was hoping it would be. Fun drive. Good food. Great runs.

It was raining when we got there but soon stopped and we had the place to ourselves for a large portion of the day. I had not skied in a few years but within an hour we were testing ourselves on the Black Diamonds. We were on the slopes for the better part of 7 hours. My legs held up better than expected thanks in large part to the fitnesses challenge we are wrapping up. That night I slept as good as I have in probably a year.

Come Monday morning it was back to reality. My inbox was full and my calendar booked with meetings. I found myself daydreaming of the next time I could take a trip like this. In all reality, it will be a while. Months? a year? I’m not quite sure, but it got me thinking about the concept of rest. Like many of us, I find myself working for the weekend and trying to get through to that rare vacation day. I feel the stress of virtual school and trying to be and do everything I am supposed to. Am I working hard enough at the things that matter? Am I respected at work and in my home?

Mentally this year has also been a challenge for many including myself. So when I came across a verse while reading today it hit me differently than in the past.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

When Jesus promises rest I think he means more than a few days of vacation and then back to the grind.

With so many religions and self-help programs, it’s about trying harder and doing more. To attain God’s favor you have to do X. To get where you want in your career you need to follow these 10 steps. With so many biblical characters and personal heroes failing in major ways what hope does an average guy like myself have?

On my own, I don’t stand a chance. and that’s where the “rest” that Jesus is talking about is such welcome news. I can’t make it on my own. Not in the most important sense. Not when it comes to my relationship with God and what He requires for eternal life with him.

Thats the essence of the Gospel. Jesus did what I could never hope to do on my own and he offered forgiveness and new life to me. He provides strength where I have none. He covered my failings and gives me grace.

At the end of it all, that is the “rest” that I most need.

So as we start off another work week, remember who has already made up for our shortcomings. Let’s rest on the fact that the most important battle is already won.

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