“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30 The Message
I’m a planner and a doer with a pretty high level of energy. But when I get on overload, my body has a way of letting me know. Over the years, it has manifested itself through hives, back pain, mouth ulcers, fever blisters, and heart palpitations. With each occurrence, it seemed God was trying to get my attention by reminding me of Psalm 46:10, “Be still . . . cease striving . . . let go . . . relax . . . and know that I am God.”
Why is it so hard for some of us to take time to rest in the Lord? For me the best answer is summed up in the following quote by Chuck Swindoll.
“Busyness rapes relationships. It substitutes shallow frenzy for deep friendship. It promises satisfying dreams but delivers hollow nightmares. It feeds the ego but starves the inner man. It fills a calendar but fractures a family. It cultivates a program but plows under priorities.”
Busyness is probably the number one stealer of the true rest that God intended for His children. And the world doesn’t help by applauding and exalting the workaholic busy-is-better mentality. To combat this, I offer a few suggestions to help renew the mind and body when it needs respite.
- Remember: You are not indispensable, so don’t be afraid to share the workload.
- If you are exhausted, stop and take a break! (easier said than done, I know; but try)
- Ask God (and others) to reveal any unhealthy/unnecessary habits you may have that rob you of your time and energy. Be willing to make some changes.
- Take periodic breaks from your daily routine by: relaxing, taking some deep breaths, sipping on a cup of coffee/tea/chai, listening to soothing music, reading something enjoyable, or simply ‘being’ with God.
- God took time to rest – enough said!
[Digging deeper – Exodus 33:14, 34:21; Ecclesiastes 4:6; Mark 6:31; Romans 15:32; Hebrews 4:10]
Learning to rest,