I feel like I write about the topic of rest frequently. It’s probably because I’m pretty lousy at resting and am constantly learning and growing in this area, so I have a lot to say on this subject.
I’m currently working on a devotional that I want to release next year about thankfulness. I go through a number of different topics, focusing on how each of them reminds us of the goodness of God and, because God is good, we have ample opportunity to be grateful. And one of the topics I wrote about today was rest. I chuckled to myself when I saw that “rest” was the next subject on my list to write about because I’m exhausted today. I barely slept last night and am feeling an impressive amount of fatigue at the moment. All I want to do is be curled up in bed all day, but I’m out at a coffee shop editing this book.
While I have gotten better at working from a place of rest, I realized that I have recently fallen back into unhealthy habits. Instead of working from a place of ease and rest and grace, I’ve been striving lately, which is never a good place to work from. I’ve been forcing things and trying to control situations that I shouldn’t be trying to control. I haven’t been living a lifestyle of rest, but have been just going, going, going, only resting when my body requires me to do so.
So many things amaze me about the life of Jesus, one of them being his consistent and diligent focus on rest—talk about the perfect role model for us! He always made time for resting with the Father, something that we so easily (and foolishly) neglect. From that place of rest and fullness, he was able to love and serve people well. His grace bucket was filled to overflowing, whereas mine is usually running on fumes.
We’ve come to believe the lie that rest is an event, not a lifestyle.
How often do we think about rest as something that can only happen on vacation? We have let this idea sink in that rest isn’t something that can happen while we have responsibilities. Resting isn’t a part of our regular lives. But what if we made rest part of our lifestyle instead of just something that we do periodically?
“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest…” Hebrews 4:9-11a (NIV)
Rest is something that should characterize our lives because we’re intimately connected with God. I wonder how our lives would change if we all took the command to rest to heart. What if we dared to work from a place of rest instead of a place of striving? What if rest became our lifestyle instead of a random event?
Because Jesus is our rest, we can opt-out of striving and choose to embrace all that he has for us. We can trust him because he is good and faithful and all we need is in him. Let’s choose to let go of control, lay down our pride, and lean into him today!
Do you struggle to rest? Why do you think that is?
How can you make rest a lifestyle instead of an event?