Lately, I’ve been ridiculously busy. Time has definitely become one of my most precious commodities, and I have a feeling I’m not alone in that. Can I get an amen?
Sometimes, we feel like we’re scrambling from one thing to the next, with little time to just be still. It’s exhausting! But those busy seasons are just that: seasons. They don’t last.
Other times, the problem isn’t limited to just a season. If you’re like me, you might find yourself keeping busy even when you do have time to be still. Letting yourself rest might even make you feel guilty. But extreme busyness is not a badge of honor—it’s a code red. And it’s actually unbiblical.
A Biblical Mandate to Rest
In Matthew 11:28–30 (NIV) Jesus tells us, “‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’”
He doesn’t just call us to rest. He calls us to rest in Him.
That’s what Sundays are for, you might think. If you’re like lots of people, Sundays might actually be far from restful. You go to church, but you focus on the sermon and socializing. Then you might go home to do laundry or mow the lawn.
Sometimes it’s tempting to be like Martha, who was so distracted by her work she almost missed out on truly being in Jesus’ presence—even though He was in her house! Jesus calls us to be like Mary instead, listening and learning (Luke 10: 38–42).
So how can we possibly find time to rest in Jesus when we’re so busy and preoccupied? It has to become a priority.
Extreme busyness is not a badge of honor—it’s a code red.
What Happened When I Spent a Day With God
Last year while I was in Portland, Oregon, for an event, I found out at the last minute I would actually have a rare day off from speaking during a busy travel season. Now, my first instinct was to fill my day with fun stuff or pastoral work. I could golf, or I could meet with some of my local ministry friends to learn more about churches in the Northwest.
But instead, I decided just to be with God. I went to The Grotto, a beautiful place that overlooks the city in the most majestic way. I was surrounded by forest, cliff faces and gardens, and I prayed, meditated and reflected. I was just with God, and my lack of an agenda created space for Him to show up. It was amazing! I left feeling refreshed, peaceful and more connected to my Savior.
But God wasn’t done yet. Remember how I’d considered spending the day connecting with other pastors? Well, that night a ministry buddy sent me an email detailing the state of the church in the entire Northwestern U.S. I didn’t ask him for it, and I never could have learned that much if I’d spent the day trying to do just that. It’s as if God was trying to show me I can trust Him to meet my needs—and that I can spend time with Him and know He’ll take care of everything else.
Finding Rest With God in Your Own Life
If you’re ready to make quiet time with God a regular part of your routine, where do you begin? You can start small—and you can do it during the workweek. I like to think of these times as spiritual “snacks.”
Instead of hitting snooze, use the first 10 minutes of your morning to read a devotional. Meditate on a few verses throughout the day and ask God what He’s trying to tell you through them. Turn off the radio during your commute and let God speak in the silence.
Now, there are also spiritual “gourmet meals.” These are longer, distraction-free periods of time with God, like my day at The Grotto.
You might spend a Sunday afternoon hiking a local trail and connecting with God in nature. Or, if you have more time, you may consider attending a biblically based silent retreat. Often, the fee includes the services of a director who will lead you through the process. They might provide Scriptures for you to meditate on, teach you the difference between reading Scripture to learn versus reading to hear from God, and meet with you one-on-one.
Whether you’re enjoying a snack or a gourmet meal, the important thing is you’re giving God your undivided attention—no distractions, no technology, no books or music.
Just you and Him.