I am writing this sitting on the beach on one of the hottest days of the year, surrounded by people enjoying the beautiful green sea and the stretch of golden sands - people who have come to Cromer to get away from the endless demands of daily life to find rest and refreshment in their holidays.
August provides a time for many of us to take a break from the normal routines of our lives, as many activities stop, and we to try to find some rest. Jesus knew all about needing to find space and some rest from the constant demands of crowds always wanting to see him. And so these words of Jesus are worth spending time reflecting on this month... “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.” (Matthew 11:28-30) Interestingly, the rest that Jesus talks about here is not something that we need to get away from our normal lives in order to find, in a few spare days of holiday in the middle of a busy year. Instead, it is a rest that we can know every day, throughout the year, as we come to Jesus, spend time with him, and learn from him daily.
Of course, holidays provide a time where we can often look back and make ‘course corrections’ in our lives - maybe re-connecting with Jesus through prayer and reflecting on the Scriptures, or simply having time to enjoy all the blessings we have been given by God. Maybe you need to give time to do that this month - we’ll certainly be doing that when we are away. But let’s not see this as a one-off opportunity to get us through the rest of the year. Instead, may it put in place a habit of coming to Jesus every day, putting the things of our lives in his capable hands, and finding true, deep rest in Him, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Whether you stay here in Cromer, or travel further afield this month, may you find true rest and refreshment for the whole of your life.
James and Katie