August 27

            Have you ever noticed that there are certain things we resist early in our lives, only to embrace them fully later on? Naps come to my mind. When we were kids, we never wanted to take naps. It was only when we became adults that we realized how important naps really are.
            There is much to be said, in this day and age, for resting. We don’t do as much of it as we should as a society. Today, everything is about constantly being on the move and staying connected so that we can be ready to shove off at a moment’s notice. With all of this emphasis on go, go, go, it’s no wonder that we end up becoming so tired that we can barely function. Rest is one of the most important parts of our well-being, yet we so often resist the urge to rest because there might just be something else out there for us to do.
            Whether we like it or not, though, eventually we all have to stop and rest. Not even Jesus could be on the go every waking minute of the day. Even He had to rest and have some alone time. There are passages in the Bible that demonstrate this, such as Matthew 14 and Mark 4:35-40. Even though Jesus was out there doing His Father’s work, He also knew that there were times when He had to rest. May we have the insight to realize that we don’t have to be constantly busy. We, too, need rest.


August 7

A time of Rest

In today’s society, we are so full of “doing” we have a hard time resting and not doing. We feel guilty, we feel like we have not accomplished anything, that we are not making a contribution. We forget that rest is not only important but necessary. I don’t just mean sleep, I mean rest from doing. I have seasons in my life when I cannot do anymore, almost a forced rest, a weariness when I am empty and I need to be filled up. During those times, I feel like I am not doing God’s work and I am not shining His Light.  I read an article entitled “ Come, All who are Weary” by Jon Bloom who referred to this emptiness as deep soul weariness. That term sort of resonated with me.  He goes on to say that in our times of weariness, we may not be the best preachers of our souls and we need others to speak truth to us and help us believe in Jesus. 
The causes of weariness are different for all of us. I think that we need to take a lesson from scripture and give ourselves permission to rest and fill up our spirits in whatever ways help us. 

In Genesis we find that God rested on the 7th day and actually set aside a Sabbath day. We read about the Sabbath in both the Old and New Testaments but in today’s society we do not honor the Sabbath. Maybe it isn’t a day every week that we rest from all our duties, but we need to work in Sabbath time for us to refill and renew our spirits and not feel guilty about it. I don’t really have an answer on how to do that. I wish I did, but I think it looks different for all of us. I try retreating into nature, listening to spiritual music, and talking with other believers. 

Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). 

Jesus would retreat by himself during his ministry many times to renew his spirit because he knew it was imperative to prevent weariness. I think when we are in those times of weariness we need to pray to God to give us the strength and then trust that He will give it to us to help us go on with His work. But in the meantime, we need to rest, whatever that means for us individually. Some of us need more rest than others because we are all different and that is ok, but we all need to rest.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30)