Summer Rest

Summer is typically thought of as the time for vacations and relaxing. However, coaching doesn’t end just because the school year concludes. The summer months may look different, but coaches typically still have plenty to do. Rather than refreshed and rejuvenated, you can arrive at the end of the summer feeling fatigued and spent. How do you get the rest you really need when coaching responsibilities and pressures can seem relentless year-round?

In Psalm 62, the psalmist is facing relentless pressure from enemies. He’s feeling beat up and weary (v. 3). There’s no “vacation” in sight. So the psalmist does some self-coaching in vv. 5-6: “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”

The rest the psalmist speaks of is more significant than physical recovery. This is soul-level rest: rest at the core of who we are. This rest comes not from sleeping in, a good nap, or a week on a beach. It’s found “in God alone.” God is the source and giver of this far deeper rest. So how do we actually go about finding rest in God alone?

In Psalm 46:10, God lays out the simple yet profound path to this rest: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Knowing that he is God requires acknowledging that I am not God – meaning, I am not ultimately in control; I am not sovereign over all; I am not all-powerful, all-knowing, or present everywhere. As important as it is to work hard and give our best effort as we coach, it is just as important to recognize our limitations and our complete dependence upon God. In what God has done and is doing through his Son, Jesus Christ, we see clearly that he reigns over all, he loves us, and he is always good. We can rest in him.

Soul-level rest comes as you find moments each day to be still before the Lord and know that he is God. Remind yourself that God is sovereign over all and his purposes will not be thwarted – so your hope comes from him. Know that God’s character is unchanging even while you live in an ever-changing world – so he is your rock. Remember that God has already demonstrated his perfect, sacrificial love for you through his Son Jesus – so he is your salvation. Be assured that God is all-powerful and always faithful – so he is your fortress.

Hopefully you have opportunities for some down-time or a vacation this summer. But whether or not that happens, you can still experience the refreshment that comes from soul-level rest. Prioritize building daily time into your schedule to be still and rest in God. Renew your trust in him. No matter how relentless coaching can seem, God offers you rest at the core of who you are as you’re willing to depend upon him.

For reflection: As you think about your daily and weekly schedule, what would it look like for you to prioritize being still and renewing your trust in God? Pursue a plan for doing this so that you can experience the rest that is found in God alone.