If you’re always exhausted, take a second look at your definition of "rest"

The scent of charcoal and hamburgers floats through your neighborhood. Friends and family gather on the deck as children play in the pool. A warm summer breeze sweeps through the trees, sunlight peeking past the rustling leaves.

Weekends were made for these moments, for slowing down after the busyness of the workweek and enjoying the life God has given us. But if we're being honest, sometimes even in moments rest, many of us still feel worn out and worried. 

Rest Is Not A Suggestion

Rest is one of the most overlooked commandments in the Bible. The failure to rest doesn’t often make it into the same sentences as murder or stealing or lying, yet rest is so important that God commands it. It's not just about going on vacation or taking a couple days off.

Sabbath began as a weekly complete day of rest (Exodus 20:8-11). We work and rest because God worked and rested. Taking a consistent break in our routines reminds us that we exist apart from the work we complete. We’re not valuable just because of the things we can do, but because we belong to God.

Sabbath isn’t meant to take away something from our lives; it’s meant to give life (Mark 2:23-28).

The best rest is found not just in the absence of work, but in the presence of Jesus.

3 Simple Ways to Get the Best Rest

1. Fight For Sleep

When we get busy, sleep is often the first part of our day that suffers. Instead of fighting the urge to nod off every afternoon, plan strategic power naps, or schedule your days to protect an earlier bedtime.

Even Jesus needed sleep (Matthew 8:23-24). He was not afraid to step away from people and His work in order to recharge.

Working hard is admirable and good, and it’s best supplemented by a healthy amount of sleep that enables us to stay hardworking (Psalm 127:2, Proverbs 20:13).

2. Get Serious About Fun

God isn’t a killjoy. In fact, Jesus keeps parties going better than anyone (John 2:1-10)!

Work and celebration are two sides of the same coin (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13). We need both to appreciate both. Celebration is a command throughout the Bible because God wants us to remember who He is and what He’s done (Psalm 111:1-5).

Happiness turns into joy when we remember we’ve received great gifts from God and He wants us to enjoy life (James 1:17). Fun and celebration are ways we express our gratitude for what Jesus has given us. No matter what we’re celebrating, God gets the glory and we get the joy (1 Corinthians 10:31).

3. Turn Your Phone Off

If you can’t convince yourself to turn off your smartphone, at least disable the notifications for a day.

Facebook updates and Instagram likes can be caught up with later. But the moment you’re living now will only happen once. People across the table need our attention more than people across the Twittersphere. Don’t let a handy tool become your master.

The best rest is found not just in the absence of work, but in the presence of Jesus. Whether we want to be mentally, physically, or emotionally refreshed, He’s the source of rest that really makes a difference (Matthew 11:28-29).

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