Would you agree 2020 hasn’t been an especially restful year? Even aside from mandatory stay-at-home orders and an unprecedented ban on travel, this year has been stormier than most.
That’s why I know my pursuit of rest comes from the Lord.
What follows are tips I gleaned from a YouVersion reading plan based on a book by Dr. John Andrews. If you find it helpful, feel free to check out the source.
The seven-day reading plan, used this verse from Mark 6:31 as the overall text: And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while…
In case you’re wondering, the “he” that said this is none other than Jesus Christ. He was busy about His Father’s business, but he understood the importance of rest. And why wouldn’t he? After all, in the very beginning, the Creators designed an entire day of rest after their week of creative accomplishments.
Dr. Andrews pointed out six things about rest in this devotional plan. Rest is:
- Optional: We must choose to accept the invitation to rest given in Matthew 11:28-30 and realize only God can give us true rest.
- Spiritual: Rest starts in the spirit. Our souls need replenishment from the Lord’s presence. Hebrews chapter four has much to say about this.
- Relational: Part of rest involves enjoying the connection and community of gathering with friends and family. This is why the day of rest–Sunday–includes worship and gathering with our church family.
- Emotional: We need a quiet place to truly rest. This means turning off the tech that inundates us with constant notifications and updates. When our emotions rest, we can find new strength and creativity.
- Physical: Yes, rest does a body good. But we’re talking about more than a good night of sleep. True physical rest requires a change of place, pace, practice and purpose.
- Purposeful: God planned to rest once He finished creation. The seventh day God ceased from his work. Interestingly, “the evening and the morning” mark the six days of work, but God doesn’t put a time restraint on the day of rest.
Now, the question remains. Are you really resting?
You have the option to work and play hard without taking a day off to reconnect with your spiritual side (although that’s what Sunday is for). You can take a day off and then fill it with emotions and relationships and keep it from being truly restful.
God worked hard to make a habitable planet for us. He did it in six days and then He rested on the seventh day. God wants us to find rest, live in rest and learn to live and work from a place of rest.
Rest is in the Lord. A lifestyle of rest is His plan.
Are you practicing real rest?