Rest. I hate this word, if I can be completely honest. Another honest moment, I’m also having a really difficult time writing this because resting is something I’m not good at. I always feel like what I’m doing is not enough, and I constantly have to do more in order to feel successful in life. I’ve always heard, “if the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy,” and I never understood how true that statement was. But recently, I realized that if I feel this way, there has to be someone else out there that can relate to me. This deeply rooted insecurity is the cause of stress and tiredness in my life, and probably your life too. Resting is something that doesn't come natural to us because it’s something we don’t know how to do. Like I said, I’m no expert on rest, but it’s something I’m working on every day and trying to get better at, and I hope this little ‘how-to’ guide will encourage you to do the same!
Let’s start off by deciding what rest is and what rest isn’t. Rest is not sleeping. Yes, sleep is a way to rest, but it’s not the only way to fully receive the rest that we need. Rest is not a vacation. it’s more than temporarily getting away from your problems. Whenever you get back to reality, your problems will still be there.
Rest is knowing that through Jesus, we have received salvation. It is something that is not earned, it must be received. Through our relationship with Jesus, we remain at rest.
Rest is keeping a sabbath day. God did this. He made the heavens and the earth, the land and water, the animals and mankind, and on the last day, He rested. He stopped. He took a break. He also commands us to do the same.
Rest is significance. When we are walking in the purpose that God has given us, we will be able to rest knowing that our lives are being devoted to His callings and the growing of His glory.
So why do we need to rest?
Rest is necessary for our physical bodies.
We can not physically function without resting. Although sleeping is not the only way to rest, it provides our physical bodies with the power-up we need to make it through the day and the days to come.
Rest is needed for our minds.
We all have a breaking point. There will be points in life where much is required of us, but we can not continue to give our all every day unless we rest. Rest can help us mentally refocus and get back on track when our minds go hay-wire.
Rest is nurturing to our spirit.
We are spiritual beings, and rest is spiritual. Our bodies need rest so we can be spiritually re-filled as well. When we are at rest and peace, we are able to connect with the Creator on a much deeper level. If rest is so vital to us and we need it, why don’t we like to do it?
Resting is not what our culture has taught us to do. Studies have shown that our work week has gone from forty hours to forty-eight hours, so we’ve technically added another day to our week. Even in my job at a church, I can easily overwork myself. I wrote out my hours the other day, and on any given week, I can put in anywhere from 48 to 61 hours. Because of my position, I feel like I have to do it all. However, I’m realizing that everything that is doable is not always sustainable. I can be pushing myself to do it all, but in the end, I am going to experience stress, tiredness, and burnout. Yet, this is the type of culture we’ve become accustomed to and we think we like to live in because it makes us feel successful. Let’s take a look at what the Lord says about resting.
“He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.’ for many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.” Mark 6:31
I love this verse, because it shows who Jesus was. He was never in a hurry. He wasn’t frantic or focus on multitasking. He was open, thoughtful, and most importantly, He was at peace. Being busy is normal, even expected in our culture, but God designed us to walk slowly with Him, to listen to His sweet voice, and to be at rest in his love. He wants to shower you in His love and bring relief to your burdens by replacing them with peace.
My name is Julie Gutierrez and I am a 20-something living in Auburn, Alabama! I am a recent graduate of the Highlands College in Birmingham, Alabama where I studied ministry and currently interning at Church of the Highlands here in Auburn! I know that God has called me to reach my generation and bring others along side me to help raise up the next generation through my words, and I want to make Him proud through my actions. I love serving the Lord and the local church, and when I’m not at the church you can usually find me writing or reading in a coffee shop, out shopping with my girls, or cuddled up on the couch watching a movie (probably Disney.) I can’t wait to experience the journey of life with you!
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