The only rest we can find is in God.
When the going gets tough, when life gets dreary or stressing, it's so easy for us to bury ourselves in work, study, pleasure—anything to distract us from the reality of emotions and life.
So often we begin to lose ourselves to the world around us. God offers us everything good, has all we could ever need, but we turn away when we could use Him most.
A study of discontent
I have gone through many times over this past year at university where I have become downcast; and rather than facing these feelings I turned to my studies. I would come home after a long day and immerse myself in research or readings.
I would find myself addicted to essay writing and pursuing language. I made good progress and loved it, but my studies lacked their usual vibrancy and so did I. I hated the breaks where I would be forced to deal with what I felt.
Eventually this led to an epiphany. These breaks amplified my discontentment and I lacked satisfaction in what I had achieved. It felt... empty. Then I realised: I was replacing God with study. I sought my books for comfort and reassurance; I relied on my own talents to encourage me. I was exhausted and remained just as hollow as before.
Rest for the weary
God is the only one who can really add a splash of colour to your life. Things may brighten the canvas of your life briefly, but it's only God's touch which can really change things. He offers rest and comfort; love and hope; life and restoration.
'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest' is what Jesus promises (Matthew chapter 11, verse 28). Jesus endured the struggles of life, knows the weight of the world, and wants to support you in it. He loves you dearly and the rest He gives is astounding and can be offered by no other.
Soaked in Jesus
When you take a step back and acknowledge your feelings and struggles and immerse yourself in the presence of God—this is when healing comes. Let the Holy Spirit wash through you and surround you, let Him lift the burden from your shoulders and rejuvenate you and remind you of what matters in life.
You can keep working and studying, but do not use them as a substitute for God. Balance your life and remember the importance of keeping a relationship alive with Jesus so you do not get lost in the ways of the world and lose sight of the bigger picture.
Whatever you're facing at any given moment, God wants you to trust Him with it. There are no safer hands to rest in than His.
Sabrina is a second year student at the University of Canterbury, where she is doing a Bachelor of Arts in English and History. With a passion for people, art, reading and writing, she has thoughts of carrying on to teach English.
Sabrina Meyer's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/sabrina-meyer.html