If one more thing gets added to my life-plate I think I am going to have a mega-meltdown. My life is crazy some days. One pull after another. One more thing to accomplish before the night ends. Sometimes, I hate to even get up because the rat race starts all over again. I should be able to do it all, right? But, when do I get to rest? When does that happen? How does it happen?
What is Rest, Really?
It can be tempting to think that rest is a state of doing nothing. That it’s when we have all the laundry caught up. When the whole house is clean and kids are fed and in bed. When everyone else is out of the house. Those are good examples, but only for one type of rest. The rest we really need is a state of inner calm and peace no matter what our situation or circumstances. Now, if you’re like me, you are probably thinking, “If that is rest, I will never be at that place.”
I dare say you can. We can. We need to know that rest is a weapon. Once we learn how to enter into rest and use rest to our advantage we can use it to fight the stress of the world and our daily lives. Once we learn what steals our rest we can then use rest properly to refuel and gain clarity in our day and chaos.
The world we live in is full of turmoil, noise, and busyness. We all have things to do and mothers more so than anyone else I think. But God says that there is rest for us. There is a place of empowerment and strength in His rest. When we learn to enter that rest and shut out the distractions we can overcome anything that comes our way.
God is so good that He has built in to us and His Word a place of rest, yet many of us don’t know how to enter into it. We simply don’t know how to get there.
Where Rest Begins
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
~ Matthew 11:28
Rest begins in God. Rest is in Him. Rest is wrapped up in His promises. Do you know what God has promised you? If not, you need to get your Bible and look up the promises He has for you, your life, your children, your destiny. Read them. Meditate on them. Write them down and hold them in your heart. A lot of times we are not resting in a situation because we do not know what the word of promise says about that situation, that illness, that financial loss, that child, marriage or future.
But God says, “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). He says, “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
A promise from God is a decree, a sovereign oath of His Word to you, and God never lies.
If you work a job, when you get hired they tell you that you get two weeks of vacation each year. That is a promise, right? As you work throughout the year, you decide when you want take some vacation time. You are not stressing over this time off; you don’t have to beg for it. You are not in any anxiety about the promise. You know it is yours. You don’t even labor to take the time off. You just take it. You rest. You cease from doing what you normally do or previously were doing and you rest, just as you were promised.
Cease from Works
Resting in God is rest from doing our own thing, from going our own way without His grace on our life. Resting is ceasing from doing the things that God didn’t tell us to do. That’s a big one for me. How many of us get caught up in things God didn’t tell us to do? What about right now, are you doing things you know God didn’t tell you to do? That thing or those things drain the life out of you. Out of us. Are you involved in too many activities that are seemingly good but are putting a tremendous strain on your time with God? You may need to re-evaluate these things and re-prioritize.
“It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.”
~ Psalm 127:2 (NLT)
We say yes to things that we shouldn’t say yes to. It’s a fact. We get caught up in a good thing, even when it’s not the right thing. After we are knee deep in whatever it is (and totally stressed out) we realize we shouldn’t have agreed to that bake sale, that Bible study, that babysitting, that fun night out with the gossipers (who happens to be your friend). Sometimes good things are the worst things.
We have to take the time to re-evaluate our lives and our works. We have to know which works we are doing that are ours and which are His. We have to know the difference between being compelled to do something, and being called to do it. They may sound the same, but the difference is huge.
Do you know the difference between being compelled to do something, and being called to do it?
Trust and Rest
The key to true rest is fully trusting God, not ourselves. Think about the areas of your life where you are trusting in yourself. Are you in fear or anxiety about any situation? That may mean that you are not fully trusting in God. To fully trust Him we have stop trusting ourselves. We have to stop thinking we’ve got it all under control.
Believing in God fully is resting on a much deeper level than ceasing from all activity. It is a rest in the mind and in the heart. It is a rest that comes from His Word and His promises and reaches into all our life situations.
Fully trusting in the sacrifice that Christ made for us and complete obedience to His will. That is rest. That’s the kind of rest that is truly refreshing. We must be diligent to enter into His rest. It doesn’t just happen. So, be encouraged. I hope you take time today to re-evaluate how you are resting and live your life from a place of rest. I know I am.
“And the Lord said, My Presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”
~ Exodus 33:14 (AMPC)