I used to rest well. I’m an introvert so I need to have regular times of being alone, being quiet, staring into space and thinking; resting. I used to do this a lot sitting outside, staring at nature. Sit. Think. Pray. Read. Stare. Be Quiet. Repeat. But then life got ramped up a bit.
What Steals Our Rest
In America it seems like everyone is always busy. Even as a single person I found working full-time with a daily two hour round-trip commute to be quite tiring. Add on to that keeping up with friends, family and eventually a boyfriend; church activities; hobbies; exercise and…whew! You know what I’m talking about. If all of this wasn’t busy enough then I got engaged. That’s when things went over the edge.
As I added wedding planning and pre-marriage counseling to the list, there were so many details racing through my brain at all times that even when I tried to rest and unplug…I couldn’t. My mind was always on. Because my mind got used to always being “on”, even when I wanted to just slow down, I found that I still craved some kind of entertainment. Often while I was “resting” I would be watching TV while surfing the internet while texting friends. Even though that was supposedly down-time activity, it definitely didn’t bring true rest to my body or mind. So, what does?
Re-Learning How to Rest
It’s been over 2 years since I got married and while some work changes have allowed me to step out of the frantic rat race, I’m still trying to re-learn how to rest because there are still so many things that fight to steal my attention from God.
In Matthew 11:28 (AMP) Jesus says: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]” In this verse the Greek word for “rest” is defined as “to give rest, give intermission from labor, refresh.” Our job is to come to God, to be still with Him, and His job is to give us refreshing. But we need to make the first step to come to God.
+How do you best connect with God? How do you rest with Him?
+What is stealing your rest?
+What two things can you begin to put into practice this week that will help you regularly find true rest and renewal in Christ?
Maybe you could read the Bible and pray before checking email or turning on the TV. Or actually take a lunch break and talk to God while you take a walk, or sit in silence in your car and pray. In the evenings turn off your computer, phone and TV and spend time praying with your spouse. Learn how to guard your free time and say “No” to things that you don’t need to do.
Learning to regularly rest with God refreshes us but also teaches us how to have an ever-present stillness, peace and rest within. We can learn to take that rest and peace into the chaos of the world, and still be at rest no matter what is happening around us. Just like Jesus in the boat in the storm (See Matthew 8:23-34).
I want to be at rest like that. Don’t you?