That feeling when a full night of sleep just wasn’t enough… That feeling when hours of television leaves you less motivated… That feeling of being emotionally drained… That feeling when your day is summed up by a to-do list, rather than by its memorable experiences…
Many of us know that feeling.
It means your soul is tired.
I recently came back from a retreat, and the theme was rest. Quite frankly, I was anticipating the theme to be something more epic, perhaps the anointing of God or kingdom vision. However, it’s those that do not know the value of rest that probably need it the most. I was one of those people until very recently.
It’s funny how we can get such a strange sense of value from being busy. It’s as if being busy indicates that we are at the center of our destiny, or at least on the way towards it. It provides a strange sense of progress, even if nothing truly worthwhile is getting done. Busyness can turn to false peace when your life feels empty without it.
But, rest is holy—perhaps, one of the holiest things you can do on this earth (Genesis 2:3).
It is because the essence of rest means realigning oneself to God. In fact, all rest, in the Bible, requires you to turn to God.
Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Exodus 33:14 says, “The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.
Those that do not know how to rest are those that are unhealthily clinging onto their own agendas. And, sometimes, truth be told, those agendas seem good and righteous. Family, church, job demands are all seemingly good and righteous agendas. Nevertheless, when God commands us to rest, it is a command to lay our agendas down. It is a command to realign ourselves with His Presence, our life source, our reason for being. It is to place Him back at the center of our lives.
Psalm 23:1-3 says, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”
The key to this passage is in the word “my.” Whenever I am feeling drained, I question whether I am allowing the Shepherd to really lead me. Is He the Shepherd, or my Shepherd?
Sometimes, when my phone is calling out to me with texts, emails, and social media updates, my Shepherd wants me to quietly listen to His voice.
Sometimes, when my schedule is chock full of meetings, my Shepherd wants me to prioritize a time for fun.
Sometimes, when I am in need of sleep, my Shepherd wants me to nap.
Rest is a re-enthronement of Jesus in our hearts. It is an acknowledgement of His power in our bodies. It is a recognition of His goodness in our minds.