For many of us, this is the sound of our day to day lives. We have to get the kids ready in the morning for school, we have to drive to work, some of you may be listening to this podcast on your way to work right now, we have errands to run, meetings to attend to. Grocery shopping to restock our empty pantries; projects to complete; kids to pick up from school, baseball, football, volleyball practices, swimming lessons, music lessons, night school; evening service at church and then we’re home and it’s time to cook, cater to our spouses, prep everyone for bed, to mentally prepare for the following day, devotion time and when your eyes can’t take it anymore, it’s time to sleep for the few hours you have before it’s time to wake up and do it all over again.
Our lives are so consumed with everyday tasks that just have to get done (at least in our eyes) that we so often miss one of the most essential gifts God gave us an example of and it is simply this, to find time to rest. In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth in 6 days and on the 7th day, guess what He did? He rested. We’re talking about the God of the universe, who formed the stars in the sky and separated the oceans who has all majesty, dominion and power. The El Shaddi God rested. And the rest was so good and needed that he blessed the day because of His rest and made it Holy.He has shown us that after you have done the work, you’ve put things in place, you’ve been up and down and here and there and knocked some things off that to-do list, it’s time to give your body rest.
As human beings, rest is so important, so vital for our physical bodies. We have to learn about this body that we’ve been blessed with and understand the way it functions. Here’s a few things that rest does for you and multiple studies have been done to prove this. Rest improves your mental health, boosts your creativity, increases productivity, repairs your body (You know, our bodies repair themselves from daily wear and tear when we rest), reduces stress, improves your mood, improves your focus, restores your energy, helps to strengthen your relationships and helps you make better decisions. Relaxing makes you feel happier. When you choose to think about things that make you feel good, you’ll discover that you actually feel more positive about the challenges you face and you’ll begin to see obstacles as opportunities.
God knows and understands exactly how our body works because He created us. He knows that we will need rest to function effectively and as such he even made it a commandment to rest. As women and as wives especially, we seldom find time to rest. I speak to a lot of women who are finding it hard to sleep or getting little to no sleep because there’s so much going on. If you find yourself tired all the time because of the lack of sleep and rest, not only will it eventually make you miserable and emotionally and mentally drained but you simply could not accomplish all that God has purposed you to do here on Earth. Now you might say but Corain, I’m busy busy busy about the Kingdom’s business. I’m working my hardest and pushing myself to live out my purpose while I’m here. But let me say it the way my mom said it to me. Your body is like a car, if you don’t put gas in it, and keep putting gas in that car every so often, it will break down on you. Rest is our gas. We need it or our bodies will break down.
Now it’s important to understand that rest does not mean sleep in its entirety. Sleep is good, yes and it gives your body time to heal and repair itself and it allows us to experience dreams in which God sometimes speaks to us. But it’s not the equivalent of rest. If you google what the definition of the word rest is, this is what you’ll find, “to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.”
Resting could mean putting down the phone, turning off the television, sitting down on your couch with a bowl of ice cream or your favorite dessert and not thinking about or doing work. It’s relaxing yourself, giving your mind a time to unwind and refresh and recover. Sitting back and enjoying where you are in your life, being thankful for what you have. Taking a time out and not asking for stuff or worrying about this or that but just being grateful. REST – how could a little four letter word be so crucial, so awesome but so elusive at times?
But The Bible says in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.”
God is inviting us to come to Him so that He can give us rest. We have to find time and set a day or a few hours where we simply rest and during this time, seek after God’s voice. Designate a Saturday or Sunday to be your rest day and be intentional about the work you won’t do and the time you’ll spend in prayer and in God’s word and watch how your life dramatically changes.
When we learn to rest physically, we’ll be able to more easily rest in God. The mandate of “Be still and know that I am God” does not come easy to us when we’re used to a life of busyness and not one of rest. Being still requires you to rest. To relax and release control, knowing that God is operating on your behalf. We are called to rest both physically and spiritually and that begins to activate the abundance in living abundantly.
The Bible says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Life more abundantly. Remember that you can’t enjoy life in it’s abundance if you are always tired. If you’re always going going going without stopping, without rest, you’re on the hamster wheel of life. God is reminding us today that it’s time to get off the hamster wheel and it’s time to rest.
I know we feel like we’re superwomen sometimes but if we continue going, going, going, going, we can get lost in the busyness of life and feel as though we’ve simply lost our way. Confusion sets in, worry takes over, we feel like we’re at a crossroads, our mind gets cloudy and bogged down. But on our journey to fulfilling our purpose we need to stop to check the compass and make sure we’re going the right way. On your journey, find the time to stop, relax, thank God for where you are and then keep going again
So I’m encouraging everyone today with a practical word to make intentional time for resting. We give and give and pour out and we pour out but God needs time to refresh us and to fill us back up again and this can only happen when we press the pause button on our work, set some time aside and rest. Rest in Him, rest in His goodness, rest your mind and let God speak to you and through you.
Even now I pray for each and every one of you, that God would speak to your spirit and soul as you find the time to rest. I pray against common distractions that hinder you from finding restful times and I bind every spirit of affliction and infirmity from your life and cover you in Jesus name with health and strength and long abundant life. I pray that you will never forget the importance of resting and that you would take intentional time to find rest for your body and to always rest in God. I thank God for restoring your strength and filling your cup with His love, favor & grace in the mighty name of Jesus I pray, Amen!