Learning to Rest
So much to do, so little time!
Each evening, some of us lay our heads on our pillows and attempt to sleep guilt-free as we leave an unfinished to-do list. No wonder we have insomnia! It is most difficult to live from a place of resting in God.
Rest must be a big deal to God, for after spending six days creating the world, He rested. On the seventh day, “God had finished all the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” (Genesis 2:2). Likewise, God has made us to function best with adequate amounts of rest for our body, mind and soul. “No eye has seen no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (I Corinthians 2:9)
If you’ve ever had anxious questions, an over-thinking mind and an absence of inner peace, you need time with God. It is wonderful – to sleep, or sit and read, worship, listen, wait, and focus on God. What amazing remedy! Within a few hours, it won’t matter whether or not you have answers to your questions. It gets you back to basics. “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” (Matthew 22:37)
As leaders, we understand how important it is for us to implement the “Being Habits” into our schedule. Even Jesus had to plan to make this happen.
“As Jesus moved through His season of earthly leadership, He was under constant pressure and temptation to get off course or respond to the failings of both His friends and His enemies. Jesus stayed on track with his mission by applying five key habits that countered the negative forces in His life:
- Study and application of Scripture
- Accepting and responding to God’s unconditional love
- Involvement in supportive relationships”
(From Lead Like Jesus)
Notice “solitude” is listed as number one? To carve out time for solitude requires a little planning, along with mental and spiritual discipline. Time alone with God helps us learn to live from a place of resting in Him.
Re-Centering Ourselves in Him
We can live in a peaceful place of union in the middle of stress by re-centering ourselves in Him. The way it works is this: as soon as we realize we have walked away from our place of peace (some people call it their happy place), we think, “How could I have strayed?” We all need a reality check. As soon as we see we are lost in the wilderness, we don’t walk, we run back to the Lord. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)
When we return to the presence of the Lord, we call on His name. This helps us reconnect with Him, and we feel safe. It’s hard to form a new habit, but the effort is worth it. The more we return to Him, our resting place, the more peaceful and joyful our life will be. “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
Everything goes back to loving and worshipping Jesus. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.” Love God, Worship God. It’s okay to stop. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
We don’t have to leave our home to find solace. God is right here, waiting for us to turn to Him. He is our Sanctuary. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:1-3)
Jesus modeled the habit of solitude and showed us how to live from a place of rest. In the Encounter, we teach “The Habits of a Servant Leader.” Prior to dismissing the group for uninterrupted alone time, we ask them to quote aloud, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
We can do this anytime, anyplace, bringing us peace, ushering us into His rest. Why not connect with Jesus in the same way right now? Why not every day?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding me, in the midst of my busyness and attempts to meet deadlines, that You are the one who taught me what to do. I pray you would protect my times of solitude. I yearn to live from a place of resting in You. Thank you for the opportunity to return to rest in you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Written by: Sheryl Giesbrecht