The importance of rest…

Hey there BCU Fam,

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Generally speaking, we are a “busy” society–especially women. Many ladies work (in and/or outside of the home), are married, have children, care for aging parents, are on a committee, in ministry of some sort (choir, ushering, teaching, etc.), and in some cases, all of the above, right?

Furthermore, one or more of these plates we are spinning can get a little heavier as we add housework, homework, school plays, practices, games, spouse time, family time, self care,  appointments, bake sales and week-long anniversary services. All of these things can cause pressure and stress at any given time, making the already heavy load we carry about 40 pounds heavier and leaves little to no time seemingly to get some down time or rest properly. In fact, I did not get into bed until after 11p.m. last night and was up this morning about 5:30 a.m. Can you tell I speak from place of experience?

In the list of all we need to do, intentional rest needs to be at the top of that list.  God has designed us to need rest. What exactly is rest, though? The dictionary defines rest as:

  •  Ceasing work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.
  • An instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.
  • An interval of silence of a specified duration.

Additionally, has an even more wonderful detailed definition:

Rest is freedom from work, toil, strain or activity. Rest is the cessation of motion or action of any kind, and applicable to any body or being, as rest from labor, rest from mental exertion or rest of body or mind. A body is at rest, when it ceases to move. The mind is at rest, when it ceases to be disturbed or agitated. The sea is never at rest! (And many believers live their lives more like the sea than their Savior!)

I am a firm believer that many of us do not rest in the body or mind properly. We have so many things to do and “not enough hours in the day” (not true–God made the hours we need–we have to manage the things we PACK those hours with) that we get anxious, frustrated, nervous, upset, angry, depressed, or any combination thereof when we do not get everything on the list done. Then we lie in bed mentally replaying the list and berating ourselves as we attempt to get the schedule right in our minds for the next day. The stress of trying to get it all done keeps us awake, has us taking sleep aids and medication to try and rest for short periods and using artificial stimulents to stay awake. We have to break this cycle, BCUFam! I know it seems impossible, but with God ALL things are possible!

  • Rest comes through prayer –Above all things, we need to go to Jesus in prayer. As much as possible, this NEEDS to happen at the START of your day. Our time with Jesus need not be two hours if that’s not possible, but quality, quiet time in prayer and reading the Word will help to frame your day for success.  David said, “O God, thou are my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirstest for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” (Psalm 63:1). Th  e more we thirst for God, the more want and need to get into his presence. Also, Proverbs 16:19 says commit your works to the Lord and He will establish your thoughts. If we are asking God to help our thought process, He will regulate our minds for the day, which brings us to the next point.
  • Rest comes through going God’s way––meaning as we go about our day, we should be asking God what need to do. Sure we know we need to go to work, drop off the kids, do housework, run errands, et cetera, but Proverbs 3:6 says, in ALL YOUR ways acknowledge Him (The Lord), and He shall direct your paths. Maybe the path we take to get to work or the direction God wants us to go is different from what we normally do and for His purpose and glory.

 A few months ago, I really wanted to go to a particular restaurant for dinner, but the Lord put it my mind to go to a different eatery. Thankfully, in being obedient and following the Lord’s directed path, I ran into a dear sister whom I haven’t seen in years! It was wonderful to fellowship and actually pray with her on a few things she was waiting on the Lord for. In another instance in following God’s instructions for the day, I bumped one of my elderly friends who had been on my mind, but had lost contact with. What does this have to do with resting you ask? When following God’s will, some things on our to-do list just WILL NOT GET DONE, and we need to rest in that. While it would have been “easier” to go where I wanted to, in doing what God said, His plans became mine—and I was rested in my heart and mind that I was in His perfect will for the day. Speaking of heart and mind, it is tantamount to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health to ensure we are adequately rested here. Let’s go to the Word about that.

  • Rest comes through letting burdens goAre you tired? Overwhelmed? Feeling like things are crashing down on you? Jesus said, come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).   

The heaviness comes in because many times, we are carrying burdens ourselves. We sometimes say “Lord, help me”, and we do not wait or listen for or to His directions. We run from task to appointment carrying frazzled, frustrated and agitated mind–and that’s heavy! BCU Fam, we will likely always have things to take care of and the weight of responsibility can get to us. What we need to do is take Jesus up on His offer and come to Him about whatever is weighing us down. Allow Him to exchange our heavy load for His light load. Now, God may absolve not us from the responsibility altogether, but if we learn of Him, He will show is how to deal with the situation His light and easy way. Amen? Amen!

  • Rest comes through “care-casting”. Casting all your care upon Him [Jesus] for He cares for you (I Peter 5:7). The cares of this life—work, family, bills, conflicts, situations, what will I have, why does she have more? When is it my turn? Those things we care so deeply about that we cannot do anything about? We need to cast them on Jesus. As we begin to trust the Lord with our cares, He will direct us in the path of what, if anything, we need to do about the concerns.
  • Rest comes through getting your mind rightBe careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:6-8). After we pray, with fervency and thanksgiving, we have to mediate on what God recommends, rather than the situation. By the time we ruminate on the list of eight things to think of in Philippians 4:8, we will be so busy praising God, that the anxiety-inducing situation you handed over to God will make the victory list as well!

BCU Fam, I could go on and on about the importance of rest—-our bodies and minds need to rest on the regular in order to hear God and to function optimally. Why needlessly continue to be restless in your heart and mind when our good Father wants to take care of us? Let’s practice resting starting today!

So what resonated with you about resting? Is resting a struggle? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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