What Does It Really Mean to Rest?

Women are busy. And we’re approaching a summer season of extreme busyness. So on top of all the “stuff” we do, like work, cleaning house, volunteer work, taking care of people in our lives who need our help (children, husband, parents, etc.), we are put to the test with extra work and expectations surrounding vacations.  I’m not saying I don’t have fun and enjoy Summer but don’t you agree, every new season adds its own special brand of business. And if you have children, you are busy with making sure your children are safe and busy while you continue to work as usual. Even if you are a work at home, there are still special challenges when our children are under our feet. Then the guilt, always guilt. We constantly ask ourselves: Are they in front of the TV too long? How late do I allow them to stay up during vacation? What activities can I get them involved in that won’t wear me totally out?

So I want to look at what the Word says about rest. We all need rest. All of us need physical rest and some of us need rest from worries, deadlines, pressures of expectations, do you get the picture? So I’ve been hearing the words “resting in the Lord” a lot lately. You know, I asked the Lord what to talk about today He gave me that one word REST. That was three weeks ago. Since then, everywhere I turn I’m hearing people talk about that “rest” we find in Jesus, even the devotionals I choose to read. Wonder what I need to learn? I first looked up the word in the dictionary and this is what I found, among other definitions, for the definition of rest.

A bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities – ok I can veg out in front of the tv

Freedom from activity or labor – yup I can take a day off work or leave my messy house

Peace of mind or spirit – oops this gets a little harder

Free of anxieties or disturbance – yeah I would love that

to cease from action or motion – so I don’t need to do anything?

refrain from labor or exertion – ok, yes, I can refrain from labor, don’t know for how long before things start to unravel

to cause to be firmly fixed – here is where I’m reminded of who or what we need to be firmly fixed on.

Yes, I thinking of Jesus. He is the one we can totally rest in and on. So if we leave all our anxieties, worries, disturbances at His feet, does that make us lazy. I don’t think so. I think for me it takes great effort to rest in Him. But then does that defeat the meaning of rest? No, it actually enhances rest for us when we let Him handle all our stuff.

“rest is not inactivity or laziness, but Holy Spirit-directed activity” (Joseph Prince)

Today from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young – guess what the title is REST

Here is part of this devotional I read Wednesday of this week: Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. — 1 Peter 5:7

“REST in the deep assurance of My unfailing Love. Let your body, mind, and spirit relax in My Presence. Release into My care anything that is troubling you, so that you can focus your full attention on Me. Be awed by the vast dimensions of My Love for you: wider, longer, higher, and deeper than anything you know. Rejoice that this marvelous Love is yours forever!”

And here are some scriptures which specifically mention resting and the benefits of rest.

·         Exodus 33:14

And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”

 

·         Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

·         Psalm 37:7

Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

 

So as women, we probably need to set time into our schedule for rest. Whether it’s physical rest or spiritual rest. You might be wondering how can I do that when I have a house full of small children? Or vacations to plan? Or pets who need to be taken care of while we vacation? I don’t know what that would look like for you but you can ask the Lord to give you some ideas about how to spend that time resting in Him.

I’ve heard and read stories of how creative women can be in getting this time in.

How or when do you get your quiet time?

I remember when my sons were little, I would put them to bed and go to bed myself shortly afterward. But then I would get up about midnight and sit by myself in the deep quiet. Even read some of the book I’ve been trying to read. Sometimes I would take that time to read the newspaper along with drink milk and sneak in some cookies.

I’ve had to be intentional about my quiet time and sometimes I’m not so good at getting that time in. But when I do, the time I’ve spent with Jesus has been so sweet and refreshing I wonder why I let life take this away from me. And I believe the Lord had me write on rest today not only to speak it but to hear it in my spirit.

So what I want you to take away today is: Don’t let the busyness of your life and the upcoming summer take away from your quiet rest with Jesus. It’s not worth it ladies. He has so much in that place of rest for us to receive. And He wants to infuse us with that peace that comes from resting in Him.

7 thoughts on “What Does It Really Mean to Rest?

  1. I really enjoyed this. Been focusing on
    R-esisting
    E-very
    S-tressful
    T-emptation
    For about a year now and your word is awesome confirmation!

    • Really enjoyed this article.
      The trick is to find out HOW to slow down and rest in the Lord. I think we each find our own way.
      At this point in my life, puttering around the garden is restful and gives me ample opportunity to meditate and talk to God. While Roger is recovering from surgery, he cancelled life group. Now, I don’t mind life group but it does put a certain restraint and pressure on the host. It has been like having a spring vacation to not have that one thing to think about and manage.
      When my children were home and I was schooling I would have at least 2 different months per year that I called my ‘no’ months. That meant no to any thing you asked me to do. I am not driving you around, not going to that work party, not, not, not. I needed the month to take stock of myself and get grounded. Once you start to do for others, they unintentionally need you to do more.
      Often, church leaders will tell you that you would be great doing something that you know you do not have a gift for. They need someone so they pressure you. It takes courage and a ‘rest’ in your belief that God is guiding you, in order to continually say no when you are made to feel guilty for not doing some particular thing in the church building.
      Ever been so distressed and sad and yet deep, deep inside your spirit is singing and rejoicing? I can not explain the contradiction but it is a real feeling, like the flesh warring with the spirit.

      • Thank you so much, Donna. I’m really enjoying all the feedback and discussion. And YES, I totally get the contradiction. Churches would be wise to investigate the gifting of each individual and give individuals opportunity to learn of their giftings (if they need help with that.) That is actually something I do as part of my Life Coaching. I include 3 different assessments to help people discern where they can comfortably plug into a church, in addition to the work and school environment.

      • Oh and I love your “no” months. I have those also. Really hard sometimes to stick with a plan but I’ve always admired you for doing that.

        BTW, my no months are July and August and November and December. That gives me time to spend with family without the stress of other obligations.

  2. Beautifully said, Gloria! There is nothing more important that our relationship with God and quiet times are crucial for maintaining that connection and growing closer. He wants to speak to us so we need to do our part to slow down and listen!

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