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Remember me sharing about that day I got really mad at my husband recently? Oh yeah, that was just last week! Part of my frustration that day was feeling like I never get a break or at least like I never have the privilege of taking one. Truth be told, that's a big fat lie. It's not like I work all the time! But I do often feel an internal pressure that tells me I need to be doing something productive in every. moment. that. is. free.
All of you know already that is a terrible way to live, just like I also know. But in the face of so much to keep up with, the struggle is real.
How in heaven's name can one take a break when there is JUST SO MUCH TO DO?!?!
After wading my way through the overly-emotional response to my circumstances last weekend, this week I have been meditating (a little) on rest. If I am going to be a healthy, calm, kind, generous wife, mother, and friend, I have got to learn how to rest, when to rest, and what makes me feel rested and restored. I need to be OPEN to taking the time to explore these things and to making time for rest.
Let me be honest here for a moment. What I really want is a perpetual vacation where I am waited on hand and foot, have no responsibilities, and can do whatever I want. Don't we all kind of want that? C'mon, admit it. This is a safe place, you can be yourself here and no one will shame you. But then I have to ask myself, Is that what I really want? A life dedicated only to me and my pleasures? I think it could get lonely really fast. So what is it we're looking for when we say we need a vacation or deserve a break?
What we need is rest, real rest.
The Bible begins talking about rest just into the second chapter of the whole book! GOD rested! Okay, if the Creator needs to rest and talks about rest, then there is some root to the reality that we do need to take a break now and then. What we must note, however, is that God rested after putting in some good work!
I am perpetually tempted to put off the work so I can rest, which makes the rest unrestful because the work lurks around the corner, stealing the restfulness away from my break! Shucks.
Considering how Almighty God rested challenges not only how I think about rest, but also how I think about work. The Lord has given us all work to do in offices, homes, churches, communities, and organizations. He calls us to excellence and diligence in glorifying Him in it all. He also calls us to unburden ourselves to Him and to take Sabbath rest.
Over the past week I have been thinking about these things and endeavoring to make more stark divisions between my work and my rest, mentally blocking out breaks to create a rhythm of rest through the week and planning for Sundays to be days mostly of rest. The tough thing about rest is that it forces me to to be OPEN to trusting the Lord for wisdom about how to use my work time, to being content with that which does not get done, and to seek guidance in learning how to rest. I have so much to learn about God and about myself!
Rest reminds me of one more glorious thing. This world is fading away. Reality as we know it with all of its demands and our limitations is temporary. The Father gives us eternal life with Him in His place where He is the light and focusing ourselves wholly on Him will no longer be a struggle. THAT is going to be awesome! Rest points us to Christ and our eternal rest!!
Time to take action:
Read Hebrews chapter 4, it is one that comes right to mind when I think of God and rest. Then consider these questions for yourself:
- How can you create a rhythm of rest in your life, times to pause maybe morning and mid-day to breathe, meditate, pray, or play? Consider taking a weekly Sabbath day.
- What unrestful habits are taking up time and space in you day that could be eliminated and replaced by something that truly brings your spirit rest?
- Praise God for the work He has given you to do in this season of your life and rejoice that He also calls you to rest sometimes, to learn from Him! Pray and ask for His help to both work and rest to His glory and honor.
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. Hebrews 4:9-10