On Your Mark, Get Set, Rest!

“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,

Beverly <><

Rest Stop

“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.”
Mark 6:30–32, NIV

“Drop your baggage here!” was my husband’s mantra whenever we approached the span bridge crossing the inland waterway. He knew carrying the weight of the week’s worry to our place of rest would not only hamper our time away but hinder the enjoyment of those vacationing with us.

The disciples were happy to be in the company of Jesus. However, because they were busy meeting the needs of the people, they had no time to rest. They were exhausted and hungry.

Jesus understood the wearying effects of service and invited them to come away with him to a quiet place. They welcomed his invitation. We should too. But first, there are some things we need to consider.

Before the disciples stepped into the boat and pushed away from the shore, they gathered around Jesus and shared the events of their days on the road. Together they celebrated their successes and prayed concerning their challenges. Is Jesus the one with whom we share the circumstances of our day? Do we take our challenges to him or simply dump the day’s contents on the first unsuspecting person who comes through the door?

Scripture invites us to cast our cares on the Lord (1 Peter 5:7). Is there baggage we need to throw overboard before we leave for our places of rest this summer?

Perhaps, too many things fill our schedule―some may even be self-inflicted. Are there commitments we should have said no to and didn’t? Maybe tangible things load down our boats. Our material blessings can become burdens when we fail to use them as God intends. Or possibly our weight is intangible. Sometimes we carry emotional baggage inflicted by people or events beyond our control. Let’s examine the contents of our boats. An overloaded boat runs the risk of capsizing.

We can assure that our boats stay afloat by placing our baggage at the feet of Jesus and prayerfully considering each piece. He will show us the things we need for our journey and those we should leave behind.

Make a list of the things you believe add to your boat’s instability. Then ask, “Is this a piece I need to throw overboard, something only God can eliminate, or something I need to hold on to?”

Before you travel to your place of rest this summer, toss the excess baggage. Then evenly distribute the remaining pieces and make room for God’s presence.

Cast off and enjoy your time of rest.

Your traveling companion,




Photo Credit: Public Domain

The Quiet Place

For many years now, I’ve kept some form of an online blog as a place to let my journals overflow into the hands of my friends and family (and the occasional stranger). It’s been a strange experience to see the places those once-private thoughts have landed, but I believe that the Lord gives each of us stories of grace, redemption, hope, and imperfection that are longing to be told to display His glory. Since being back in Thailand over the past few months, I’ve found that my blog has stayed silent while I’ve hashed out my thoughts through my social media accounts. Despite many of my posts turning into mini-blogs, I’ve felt the stories crying out to be told fully, and so this week I’d like to invite you into the uncut versions of my social media feed, in hopes that the words of the Lord find you and lift up your weary or discouraged hearts.


The Quiet Place

And Jesus said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a quiet place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.

Mark 6:31 (ESV)

FridayNot far from where I live is one of the largest open-air markets in the world. It’s conveniently located right next to the train station where I find myself nearly every Sunday in order to get pretty much anywhere in Bangkok … and so I often find myself inside the maze of the market.

The last time I ventured through countless vendors and enthusiastic tourists and locals alike, I found myself on a quiet backstreet. A man not far from me was just sitting and watching the people pass by. It reminded me just how important it is for all of us to find the quiet spaces in our lives, if only to be able to catch our breath and enjoy the view from the outside for a little while.

There are days here when I will fully admit to feeling hopeless for the people around me and for their eternities. I’m sure there are days when you look around in your office spaces, your coffee shops, or while watching the news when you feel as if there’s no hope for the future, or that there’s no encouragement for the faithful any longer.

I realized while standing on that backstreet of one of the busiest markets I’ve ever been in that these quiet spaces are vital to the health and the vitality of our faith. It’s in escaping to these quiet spaces in our lives where we are reminded that absolutely no one is outside the reach of sweet Jesus.

We need the quiet spaces to remind us of what we know, to teach us to listen more closely to Truth, and to steep ourselves in the grace and patience of the Gospel. Find your quiet spaces today, and visit them often. Be refreshed and encouraged as you take the time to breathe!