I wrote a newsletter devotion last year while on long service leave and I find myself in the same place again this year.

When I wrote last year, I explained the difficulty I have resting. In fact, resting generally makes me feel guilty. I should be doing something. There is school work to do. The list of jobs I made at the start of my leave still seems quite long and I really should be doing one of them. Maybe clean the shed. The dog needs to be walked. The dishes are still on the sink.

The recent situation with the pandemic, social distancing etc. essentially forced a period of rest upon me. We were discouraged from going out and doing things, and so many of our regular commitments were cancelled. The government was demanding that I stay at home and do less.

I distinctly remember how much I enjoyed this less complicated, less busy time.

The Bible talks frequently about rest. Right back in Genesis we see God doing his work and then putting aside a day to rest. And while it specifically references the day of rest being the Sabbath, more broadly we are being reminded of the importance of rest, and more importantly resting in God’s presence and love.

It’s easy in the busyness of life to neglect spending time in God’s presence. It’s vitally important that we put aside our work and other commitments and spend time in prayer, reading the Bible and considering God’s work in our lives and all that he has done for us.

There have been significant negatives associated with the Corona virus, specifically the health issues and tragic deaths of many around the world, and the economic impact to those who’ve lost jobs and had their livelihoods impacted. As restrictions are eased over the coming months, I think it’s vital that we don’t simply go back to the “old normal”. Whilst being able to go back to some normality will be wonderful, we should also hang onto some of the lessons learned over the last few months. For me, that may be the importance of making time for rest, and resting in God’s presence.

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Genesis 2:2-3)

Damian Bradley | Head of Middle School