Rest in the Lord.
Now that is one of those statements that is easy to say…but so hard to do. You see, I like to be busy. When I am busy, I feel productive. And when I feel productive, I feel valuable, like my time on earth is being well spent.
Then there are times when there are just too many tasks left over at the end of the day. The day lasts too long and morning cracks open too early. Exhausted.
Ever feel this way?
We are busyness addicts, compulsively filling our lives with work and commitments, as well relationships and activities. Sometimes because we want to; sometimes because we have to. Others jump on board, adding even more weight to a schedule with no room to breathe. Then there’s the peeps we love and all that they need-can’t say no to that…
A worn-out whirl of a frenzy.
A recent Gallup poll states that 40% of Americans don’t get enough sleep. And yet, sleep is only one form of rest. In reality, we have a variety of needs that call for rest, that sweet, sanctified time given by God for infusing energy back into tired lives.
Different kinds of rest we need.
- Rest from doing: physical and mental rest from too much activity and the problem of overcommitment. Even good things can become too much.
- Rest of body: commit to get enough sleep.
- Rest from work: misplaced priorities can get us stuck in the tyranny of the urgent.
- Rest from conflict: remember that God goes before us and is a mighty refuge.
- Rest from social interaction: take time to come away with God and pray.
- Rest from noise: turn off all the buzz of radio, TV, and iPods. Quiet is good for the soul.
- Rest in being: resting in our identify rather than striving to make ourselves who we already are.
- Rest in faith: believing God frees us from the work of worry.
What is this crazy-wonderful-strange thing called rest?
The word rest contains a variety of meanings including the following: to be silent, be still, and wait.
Here’s my favorite rest stop:
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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” (Matthew 11:28-29 NASB).
Take a weight off your shoulders as you read this same verse in The Message:
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.
Rest in the Lord, those unforced rhythms of grace that come when we live light in the embrace of faith.
Sweet friend, don’t let life overwhelm you to the point that you are falling apart at the seams. In a tight, hard spot, exhausted by anxiety and overcome by uncertainty, I once heard God speak to my spirit in the deep of the night:
Child, lay it down before you fall down. Rest in me.
If you have time, close your eyes and rest in the Lord as you listen to this song of rest.
What kinds of rest are you needing today? This is such an important topic that I included a chapter on Moments to Rest in my book, Holy in the Moment: Simple Ways to Love God and Enjoy Your Life.
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