Rest, Restlessness, & Restoration – Part 1

This is Part 1 of a two-part article, with posting of Part 2 next weekend. I delayed posting but wrote this article on April 1st, April fool’s day as some would have it. My thought at the time was that we should be true to God and ourselves because we can’t fool either of us (howdareSHEryl!). I say this, generally speaking, though particularly regarding rest, restlessness, and restoration.

Hurried and Worried
In this age, we live with the tendency to be rushed, doing as much as we can and as fast as we can, essentially living in a state of perpetual hurriedness that causes stress, anxiety, and counterproductivity. Such a state is unhealthy and is not God’s intention for our lives. Similar to our sometimes feeling that we should be perfect and fit a mold in order to mesh well with others, we feel utterly guilty about exercising self-care that includes the rest necessary for experiencing peace of spirit, heart, mind, body, and soul.

God Rested – We Should, Too
God is quite clear, in the Bible, about the importance of rest as even He rested from all of His work as written in Genesis 2: 1-3, which says, “On the seventh day, having finished His task, God rested from all His work.” This indicates Holiness of rest from work, which minimizes chances of restlessness and burnout. With God’s word and example, how can we not find it necessary to rest and actually rest?

Likewise, God tells us how we can experience refreshment that comes with His promises, which are in His presence. Psalm 23: 1-3 provides assurance that, “He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength.” As we spend time alone with God, in His presence, and in the word, we grow in Christlikeness and experience much needed rest and restoration.

Easier Said Than Done
I know what it is like to feel exhausted, exasperated, and having so much to do that it’s a struggle to take time out for adequate rest. Still, I know I need it, and while I’m still working on this, I strive to consistently spend time alone with God. In doing so, I am encouraged and replenished.

With work, family, and all the other competing demands of everyday life, Psalm 127: 2 gets close to home as I am reminded, “It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat, for God gives rest to his loved ones.” I consider these words to be expressed as what my mom called, tough love.

Comfort is Near
Not surprisingly, I find great comfort in Matthew 11: 28, which says, “Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens. I will give you rest.” Here, God is saying that He wants to relieve us of carrying heavy burdens. He desires to come alongside us and take the load from our shoulders. He wants us to entrust to Him our burdens so that we can experience life with peace and rest that come with intimately knowing and spending time with Him. I can attest that there is no other rest like rest in God’s Holiness.

Ideas for Rest, Relaxation, & Restoration
Some things I’ve found helpful for rest, relaxation, and restoration include prayer, silence/meditation, reading the Bible, listening to calming sounds, focused breathing, stretching, affirmations, savoring hot tea, and envisioning myself peacefully resting as though I’m living out Psalm 23. I encourage you to prioritize taking time out knowing that you need and deserve it. Every little bit counts. It’s okay to keep it simple so that it doesn’t become stressful. Remember, rest is the key.

Learning from mistakes and message, while loving your magnificence and successes!

Triple Threat: Transparency. Transformation. Transition.

Faithfully, Sheryl