Over the past month, we’ve leaned into the idea of rest: encouragement to stop pushing ourselves, pulling busyness off of the pedestal on which we’ve placed it, identifying with Jesus’ restful philosophy, and incorporating new rest practices into our lives each day.
Like the concepts of “enjoyment” and “freedom,” rest is something that is deeply personal. Five of us could begin a discussion about rest, and the conversation would conclude with five different definitions of rest. However, there are underlying principles about rest we need to all give credit to, as well! Things like:
- We all have the ability to rest.
- We all should rest.
- We should encourage and support others to rest.
How have you come to view “rest?” Is it extra time you’ve created for yourself each day? Is it a new form of exercise or a new hobby you’ve adopted in the past few weeks? Is it just taking a few moments to close your eyes and talk to your Father?
Rest is not just a good idea. It’s also an indicator that we are following God’s will for our lives. Running ourselves ragged and maintaining a hectic pace will never be a part of His plan for us. Will we encounter challenges and hard times requiring more effort? Yes, of course. But everything we do should ultimately lead us to a feeling of fulfillment and allow us to willingly accept and embrace times of rest, knowing we’ve accomplished what He wanted us to.
“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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
God wants us to rest. He gave us the option to pause and seek refreshment, each day, if we need to! We have loved hearing from some of you about how you’ve taken advantage of that option. Here are a few amazing examples of how you’ve found rest this month:
“We recently enjoyed our family vacation driving through New Mexico and Colorado. We managed to hit four separate sunsets, all in different parts of different mountain ranges…talk about peaceful, relaxing, and restful! Truly a beautiful way to rest and appreciate God’s beauty. Made me realize how little I do this and how much more I should be doing these types of things!” – Terri Martinez
“Some days I feel like my life has become a series of checkboxes! I’m a pretty ordered person, so I often do the same thing every day, because I let myself get so regimented in “the doing” that I forget to have fun. I forget to seek the joy in life!
The story of Mary and Martha in the Bible illustrates how we can sometimes allow “the doing” to supersede the living of life and we miss out on all those amazing moments God has for us, those times of just sitting at His feet, listening for His voice and resting in Him.
So starting today, I’m going to change things up a bit! I’m going to color outside the lines. I’m going to read the ending of a book first and then go back to the beginning. I’m going to take a different route to work. I may do my “Tuesday stuff” on Monday! But in all I do, I’m going to make sure I give myself time to rest in Him, whatever shape that takes and look for the joy of that moment! We are not promised tomorrow. I don’t want to lose a moment of my life to busyness!” – Lisa Droegemeier
If you have a story about finding rest in your life, we’d love to hear it! Email your written story or short video of your story to Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(If you’d like daily encouragement with finding rest and refreshment, pre-order our new devotional for women in the workplace: Be Refreshed)
- Which three words would you use to define “rest?”
- Did you have to let go of a “busyness” item to make room for rest this month?
- By introducing “rest” into your life, have you discovered a new call or leading from God that used to be drowned out by the noise in your life?
- Was your “yoke” placed by God, or are you shouldering the weight of worldly accomplishments and fruitless labor?
Lord, thank you for giving us the gift of rest. Help us to stop ignoring it or seeing it as weakness, but rather, open our eyes to its endless benefit and role in Your plan for us. We all desire to be obedient to Your will, but the world often fills our ears with empty promises of wealth and happiness resulting from relentless pursuits of fame and fortune You may not have ordained for us. Forgive us for losing sight of the simplicity of Your plan and the life-giving inclusion of true rest in Your path for each of us. Quiet our minds and open our hearts that we may clear out the draining presence of busyness and choose instead to heed only Your voice each day.