You know when your husband has to help you walk down the hall, wash your clothes, cook your meals, and do just about everything you normally take care of that you have reached your limit. You are poured out empty. It all began for me about 3 weeks ago the day after the Restore retreat when I pulled my back out lifting a tub of retreat supplies. But I couldn’t rest. I just couldn’t stop, I thought. There was my granddaughter’s first birthday the next weekend(10 hour road trip and back) my students recital (lessons and extra lessons to teach to prepare them and set up for the weekend after that), my daughter’s college graduation (11 hour road trip) the next weekend dodging Oklahoma City tornados and flash floods! Then helping my daughter pack up to move to NYC, the 11 hour road trip home...... and on and on with the typical May events that everyone has and here I am in the bed. Yesterday, the other side of my back gave out and there is no pushing on anymore. They have all been wonderful and great celebrations, but my body has given out. I’m not sure if I’d done anything differently if my body would have been strong enough for all the commitments and celebrations I had over the last month, but I know that I need to REST.
I’m thinking from conversations and texts from friends that I’m not the only one. Maybe you do too. And so today as I’ve laid up in the bed, in between naps, I’ve been thinking about the word REST. Here are some thoughts that come to my mind when I reflect on the word. These are all things that most of us know. It’s the practice of rest that is so difficult in this world we live in. Here are some of the words that come to my mind when I think about REST .
R - restore, renew, refresh, read, relax,
restore - it is the Lord who ultimately restores our souls and renews a right spirit within us.
renew - when I let the Father renew my mind He guides me in His perfect will for each day.
“Do not conform to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
refresh - my body and spirit need to be renewed and refreshed from the weariness of life
read - a good book soothes the mind and renews your perspective.
relax - I don't have to be in charge. He is Sovereign.
remember - to whom you belong
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22
reflect - on the Word, the moments of life, for in the pondering we gain a fresh outlook and God's perspective
E - enjoy, enlighten, enrich, eye candy, engage, embrace,
Enjoy - His Presence, life, the beauty of God’s creation, let His beauty restore you and fill you with joy and wonder, do something creative
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy,because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2:3
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12
Enlighten - ask the Father to fill your heart and mind with understanding of His purpose for your days.
Enrich - fill your life with good things, worthy of your energy, your time, worthy of a disciple of Christ.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Phil 4: 6-9
Eye Candy - I’m a visual person so taking in beauty brings rest to my spirit. Here are some examples that delight me!
Engage and Embrace - His love is there waiting to envelope you in rest, peace, hope.
S - sabbath, sleep, see, still, soak, senses, simplify, soulcare, space, satisfied, sing
Sabbath - set the work aside and rest in God’s presence.
Sleep - stop the day and let your body be restored in sleep,
See - take in God’s beauty. Use your eyes to bring peace. Guard what they see that robs your peace and rest if at all possible, such as violence on TV and movies and replace it with images that bring your spirit to a place of calm and joy.
Still - Psalm 46:10, Psalm 37:7 - To be Still is so difficult for most of us. Everything in our culture goes against it. Sometimes we simply need to pray, " Lord, help me learn to be still, to let go and rest - in my mind, my body,"
Soak in the truth of Scripture,( Psalm 119:114)
Soak in a hot bath! One of my favorite ways to rest.
Fill the tub with wonderful scents, light a candle, play some soothing music. (I’ll be back to this later - think I need to soak!)
Senses - look up and look around. Put down the phone, the computer and smell, see, taste, touch, hear. Look at the wonders of creation. Treat yourself to something delicious. Listen for the birds rejoicing in their Creator.
Let some quiet beautiful music calm your soul and feed your spirit. Feel something soft and lush, smell the roses, the herbs, bake a loaf of bread....whatever awakens or soothes your senses.
Simplify - there will always be too many things to do in a day. A life focused on Jesus and His priorities helps to simplify our days, our homes, our calendars.
Soulcare - make time for the things that nurture your soul. You are uniquely created with gifts and wired so that certain things and people bring you delight and stir your heart and mind. Be careful not to neglect those things that tend your soul.
Space - we over schedule and leave no time for the margins in life.
Psalm 62:5 - Allowing our physical bodies to rest restores us, and it is necessary to our health,
but resting our souls in the presence of our Creator is the ultimate refreshment for our spirits.
Satisfied - it is so easy to get caught in the ”more is better” message of our culture. Only when we are truly satisfied in Jesus and believe in His love will we find our rest. We must settle in the truth the He is enough.
My soul finds rest in God alone.
Sing - it changes your attitude and lifts your spirits
T - trust, time, turn, thankfulness
Trust - “Lord, it is nothing for you to help, whether with many or with those who have no power;
Help us O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name, we go against the multitude.”
2 Chronicles 14:11 (NKJV)
In this Scripture, King Asa is showing his trust in God as the nation of Israel chooses to rest in Him.
There is victory in rest. We battle in His name. Be expectant and wait for the Lord to help.
Time - Make time for rest. It may involve sacrifice. For me choosing to rest this week meant canceling voice lessons.
I love to teach and hate to cancel and it is a financial loss, but when the Lord says rest and your body and spirit are depleted, you must obey.
Turn - “Turn my heart towards your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” Psalm 119: 36-37
When I choose to turn, I remove the clutter from my mind and my heart.
Thankfulness - Focusing on the blessings in my life rather than the struggles or disappointments brings me into a place of rest.
Rest - lay my busyness at His feet, my weariness in His hands, my healing in His power.
My rest and refuge is found in Him alone.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
Is the Lord calling you to REST today? Perhaps you might use one of the words found above to help draw you into a place of resting in Christ.
Learning to Rest,
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