Fighting Rest

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It was finally vacation time. I haven’t taken time off since I went back to work nine months ago.

I came to rest. I came with family to rest…

And we fought it for days.

It is so difficult anymore to just stop, unplug, and enjoy the beauty around us without scheduling “things” to do. Even when we finally stopped, it was hard to sit still for very long. We needed to keep moving: float in the lazy river, work a puzzle, check our phones, or randomly electronically check on work. We just needed to be “doing.”

The Bible has a lot to say about rest:

  • There is the Sabbath Rest in which we are not to be working. I’m sure most of us don’t fully abide by that. We church and then we work in the yard or hang out with family and friends. At times, even churching is working.
  • After hard times, like wondering in the desert, God often provided a time of rest and replenishment. There are times the heroes even took rest in the middle of battle. Some of the journeys even led to places of rest as the ultimate goal.
  • And then there was the rest Jesus showed us and left us with. He spoke often of resting with him and because of him. Matthew wrote: “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) And there is the special rest that comes through the Holy Spirit.

The reality remains that in this electronically-connected, socially-busy, and career-driven world in which we live; stopping is difficult. We feel compelled to be doing. We feel challenged to keep in touch or to keep up with the news—be it world news or news about our friend’s vacations, pets, or family outings.

There is so much new life that comes from resting. It is when we stop doing that we begin to breathe again and to see the person we are. We begin to see the areas in which we are most comfortable and happy with our lives. We begin to see the areas where God wants us to invite Him in to grow and change.

And sometimes rest is just rest. It is allowing our body to relax. It is giving our mind time to stop working everything out. Sometimes rest is the best part of living. I encourage you to find time each week to turn off the phone, shut the laptop, and breathe in and breathe out. Let the sun shine on you. Let the snowflakes rest on your face. However you decide to rest, do it often enough that it becomes as much a habit as checking your social media, reading a book, or doing whatever you do. Make rest something that you can’t live without. I promise, it will change everything.

Let my soul be at rest again, for the LORD has been good to me. (Psalm 116:7)

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