Everything I read about living a balanced life stresses the importance of taking time to rest.
The thought of rest stresses me out! I’m too busy to rest!
I have a family to take care of, kids to shuttle, pets to clean up after, a house to run, meals to plan, groceries to buy, food to prepare, laundry to wash-dry-fold-iron and put away. I have a full-time job, meetings to attend, cars to maintain . . .
We women run from one thing to the next with nary a moment to spare.
Who has time to rest?
The fact is that you and I need to rest as much as we need to breathe.
Truth be told, rest is work for me.
I come from a long line of overachieving women who made multitasking an art form. Somewhere in my conditioning, I learned to equate rest with laziness, weakness, and wasted time. So when I think about rest, something inside me seizes up.
Rest isn’t just about a Sabbath day. It’s something we need to incorporate into every day.
Sleep specialist Dr. Matthew Edlund believes it’s vital to build times of rest into our daily lives. Rest is medically defined as a person’s state of repose.
It simply means to cease from work or activity.
- make us more alert and effective
- reduce stress levels
- give us a better chance of a healthier and longer life.
Rest refreshes and rejuvenates us!
God’s gift of rest
Beyond what science says, what does God say about rest?
God knew it was so important for us that he made it one of the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20:8–10).
Rest is God’s gift to us so we can stop endlessly striving and find our peace in him. That’s what Jesus invites us into in Mark 6:31 when he says, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Spiritual rest comes when we connect with God.
Rather than being regulated by many dos and don’ts like the Pharisees, we seek God not out of obligation but for refreshment and enjoyment. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
What does restorative rest look like? It includes seeking God’s face in creation, reading his Word, praying, listening to worship music, being still in his presence, dreaming. Fall is the season where we are reminded that all created things need rest.
God wants to refill your empty and stressed-out places with HIS strength and peace. Let him by incorporating the discipline of rest this week.
[Jesus said,] “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.”
God, you know the pace I keep to serve you and serve others. Remind me that you are able to get everything done that needs to be done. And as I trust and follow you, teach me how to work and rest. Restore me so that I can be who you made me to be. Amen.