REST!! What’s the real meaning of that word? And how do we actually “rest” in our own lives? Do we “rest” the right way? Even God rested on the seventh day, so maybe it is important to actually rest.
As a verb “rest” means “cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength” and as a noun it means “an instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.” That word “ceasing” is a strong word. I have always found it difficult to cease to do anything. My body and mind rarely ceases from movement and thoughts. My version of rest is far from this, sadly it’s true.
I rest by reading a magazine for a few minutes or not sweeping everyday and mopping. I don’t rest to relax, refresh or recover strength.
My mom raised a valid point, although maybe not profound for many of us, but it hit me. She is constantly telling me to rest. “Put your feet up and just sit!!” I heard it over and over again in pregnancy, especially towards the end of my pregnancy when I was even more miserable and sick. I have never taken the advice and didn’t see myself taking it while pregnant. Even though I was depressed, in pain, uncomfortable and extremely exhausted, I couldn’t find rest. I kept going and going. Always cleaning, cooking and preparing. Never resting, relaxing, refreshing and recovering.
One day she finally told me, a few days before having baby boy, “just rest and have quiet time. How can we hear from God if we are never quiet.” I had been asking Him for answers and guidance for months and weeks with many things in my life. Frustrated He still wasn’t answering. He was forgetting about me, and emptiness filled me. I prayed, but to be honest I would pray and then be back to doing something.
How can we listen when we aren’t quiet, relaxed and refreshed? How can we hear if we are never just quiet, not reading, cleaning? Wow!! It hit me. It’s a no brainer, but I had been missing it for months. Frustrated He wasn’t answering and feeling it wasn’t fair. I had been doing everything right, prayer, worship, church and being in my Word. But I left out an important part: REST!! After all He does command us to come to Him and find rest.
So I gave it a try. I rebelled against my will and my flesh and I laid down in bed, read my bible for a few minutes and then just laid there in quietness (R was sleeping, that’s why it was quiet). It was so hard. I wanted to reach for the phone and check Instagram. I wanted to finish the dishes from lunch and clean more. I wanted to journal, read.
Why does the Bible always refer to rest? Many times God and Jesus will say “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 or “Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way.” Psalm 37:7. I could go on and on.
I found so much peace by just resting in Him. I read my bible, journal and then just sit or lay there. Waiting for Him. Meditating on his Word. I love the answers I receive in the quiet, in my rest and I love how it changes my perspective and day. It gives me hope, changes my mood, and helps me in my relationships. Just a simple 10 minutes is enough, but really we should do more than that everyday.
I have to be honest, I haven’t done it much since then. Its maybe once a week, but I am trying to make even more time for it, because I did feel refreshed and recovered. It’s tough to truly rest. Just yesterday I went outside to relax, I told my husband. I made it 10 seconds and was weeding my lawn. I finally said “okay I got to stop” and I laid down and found myself pulling weeds around me as I was “relaxing.” My husband yelled at me to stop. So obviously it’s something that will take practice. But when I finally did stop doing, my mindset shifted for the day.
Who knew that REST could do so much. Challenges arise in our lives, and sometimes rest is the best way to overcome them. Resting in His presence, resting in Him. And some how those challenges get smaller and seem easy to overcome.
For now I am learning what “rest” really means and how much it helps in life’s circumstances. How much I can overcome when I simply take the time to rest in His embrace and listen to His answers in my quietness. Because all of my talking, complaining and doing hasn’t accomplished anything.
Until Next Time Be Whole and Be Fit….and Be Rested
What does it mean to you to rest?
Rest is a place of absolute Trust! Trust in your Heavenly Father’s love – no matter what! Even when all that is around you screams failure bringing more fear – Trust that He can and will “turn ALL things to good for those who love (obey) God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Thank you Mom!! You are my hero