on the year of rest

“No one should ever pick ‘rest’ as their word for the year!” my friend exclaimed.  She had spent quite a lot of time in the hospital that year with some life-threatening conditions.  “Too late for me,” I thought. I knew that ‘rest’ was my word for 2015. What the year of “now” revealed was the frenzy inside.  Rest was the right word.

time lapse trafficwhite water rapids

Like my friend, I have had surprises in this theme of rest.  Ironically, this is my busiest travel year in a while.  On top of that, there are major projects requiring a lot of time, thought and energy, leaving me wondering how things will get done.

To actually “Rest” means you respond to an invitation.  Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden…”  Like a physical invitation, you can read it and put it on a pile. You can know that you’re invited, but that doesn’t mean you’re going.  You have to RSVP and you have to show up!  The invitation to “come” is throughout Scripture.  Knowing that doesn’t give you rest.  Coming to Jesus and laying your concerns with Him is the start of a heart at rest.

Isaiah 30:15 gave me another insight – to repent.  Repentance and rest lead to salvation. There are some nuances in these words that made me think about turning away from my own solutions and turning toward God, as well as stepping down, settling.  How many times is my own unrest generated from holding on to my own ways, and trying to be in control, rather than turning to the Lord and letting Him be in control?

My unrest often comes from holding on to my own ways and wanting to be in control.

The verse goes on to say quietness and trust are your strength.  Quietness instructs me to let God lead me, to follow, rather than try to figure it out all in advance. Trusting in the Sovereign Lord means I need to remember and rely on His greatness, His love, His power.  The more I remember who He is in all His glory, the easier it is to stay at rest.   My confidence in Him grows when I am continually reminded of who He is and what He has promised.

beach panoramaThe more I come to the Lord with what’s going on with me in real time, the more I am able to rely on Him. And that reliance, that confidence that He will supply what is needed that brings my heart to rest, right in the midst of demanding days and busy seasons.

I like that.  I like it a lot.  Praying for these habits to take hold in me.

What has helped you find “rest” in the midst of busy seasons?

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2 Responses to on the year of rest

  1. Dr. Mary Lutz says:

    I’ve been thinking and praying a lot about rest as of late. Even my attempts to “practice” rest have illuminated all the more how real rest takes time. Just as the echoes of aftershocks following big earthquakes fade in time, so do echoes of noise and movement from my life with God.

    I was talking with a pastor friend last evening about rest, when he reminded me that there was a difference between the translation of God resting on the seventh day, and God’s later command to remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. While the literal translation of the former is to stop, the root word of the later is the same as Noah, and is translated to enter in, to settle in, or to fill.

    So, in creation, God made everything, and God didn’t just stop working on the seventh day, He filled His creation. So, God worked and build a home, then he moved in. When I rest from the work that I have joined God in, I allow God to move in. God brings a renewed sense of peace and order to his home within me, and I am renewed. Maybe that’s why I really like the Message translation of John 1:14 – The Word became flesh, and moved into the neighborhood.

    • thanks for that perspective, Mary. I’ve been on a long learning path on this topic. The Lord keeps illuminating new ways to rest in Him. Stopping is so essential to awareness of what the internal movements of my soul are. He points out those places where I trust in my own efforts, rather than lean on or rest in His.

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