Rest is a simple concept, but not necessarily easy to practice consistently. How many conversations do we have with one another about how tired we are or what restricted us from getting a good night's sleep?
As we're focusing on the theme of rest this month, I'm exploring the various perspectives of rest.
There's little rest and BIG rest.
We sample little rest when we take breaks during the day, pausing between our activities.
We look forward to BIG REST by planning a vacation or taking a sabbatical from work.
Some of us have to be really intentional about seeking out rest, especially if we live in a culture that places a lot of value on productivity.
REST does not necessarily mean implementing a strict routine.
I like the encouragement in Shelly Miller's book, Rhythms of Rest, to find our own balance of stillness in our daily and weekly activities. She offers some practical tips and gentle reminders about developing a mindset of Sabbath-rest.
"...the promise of entering HIS REST still stands..." (Hebrews 4:1) for us today.
But, we have to seek out restful practices and be intentional to build it in to our busy lives.
"Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that REST..." (Hebrews 4:10-11)
I pulled out an old dictionary and was amazed by the many synonyms of REST.
I was also impressed by the many nuances of REST.
It's a posture. We can lean, lounge, loaf, recline, repose, or lie down to position ourselves for rest.
It's active. We have to purposefully stop, cease, and come to a standstill to allow rest to occur.
It's a gift. Rest offers us peace, serenity, calmness, composure, comfort, support, and tranquility.
It's a commandment. "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." (Exodus 20:8-11)
God knew it was going to be difficult for us to break away from the humanness of daily pursuits in this world, so he included Sabbath-rest as one of only 10 commandments (not as a suggestion.)
Rest is SO beneficial for us.
We make better decisions when we're rested.
We're more patient and tolerant with one another when we're rested.
We feel better about ourselves and have more energy when we're rested.
YET - - - it's a daily challenge to maintain an attitude of rest and to be diligent to get enough physical rest and take enough breaks to achieve mental rest.
I think we have to submit ourselves to the obedience of following God's plan for us to have regular rest. I think we have to follow His modeling to intentionally rest from our work.
If we can allow ourselves to REST IN HIM, then we'll gain contentment, security and the refreshment in our souls that we desperately need and long for in our restless spirits.
Who's with me?? Join us in the 31 Days of Rest series and discover what God's rest can do for YOU, too.