There is a popular blog post that makes the internet circuit around this time every year titled “Worst End of School Year Mom Ever”. In it, the author recounts all the ways in which she lets everything go at this time of year, from neglecting homework, to holes in shoes, and forgotten Lunchables. While many parents and children enter the school year with enthusiasm by the end many of us are failing pretty hard and ready for the summer break.
Even if you don’t have a child in school, you can relate to those seasons of life and the exhaustion that comes when you feel burnt out, tired, and ready to give up. Summer it seems, with the warm weather and long days, is the time that we expect to rest and take a break from the rigorous routine of life. We look forward to vacations, long Saturdays at a lake, or by the shore.
Long before school breaks and summer vacations, Jesus uttered these words in Matthew 11,
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live free and lightly.”(Matt 11:28-30(MSG))
For years I had this verse laminated on our shower wall. When our oldest kids were little and never slept, something about these words stirred in me a longing. To live free and lightly. To be unburdened. It’s not about sleep or physical rest—it’s a rest for your soul. Jesus calls us to something deeper and more meaningful than our physical bodies can understand. It’s a rest from your striving, from aiming to please, and from the perfectionism that we chase day after day. It’s a rest from religiousness and all the self-imposed laws that go with it. That kind of soul rest, is called Grace, and Jesus offers it freely and in abundance.
You don’t need a summer vacation to find rest for your weary soul (although it helps!), the real soul changing work has already been done for you on the cross, and His Grace is sufficient!