Now I can say to myself and to all: “Relax and rest, be confident and serene, for the Lord rewards fully those who simply trust in him!” Psalm 116:7 (TPT)
To Rest – The Rest Series – Part 1
When your doctor tells you that you need to sleep in whenever you can, take naps whenever your body feels tired and that you need to be in bed by 10 pm, you get them to write it down multiple times, you take those sheets of paper home, frame them, and hang them on every wall in the house.
As exciting as this kind of instruction can be (for me, a working from home, perpetual night owl, insomniac mother of two), it’s challenging.
Rest. Sleep. AMEN Brother/Sister!
But in this day and age? Hard to do.
In fact, after my Doctor told me that I need to sleep whenever I can, I didn’t gleefully demand multiple copies of her instructions to hand out to family, friends, and strangers. I burst into tears.
“There is no way I have the time or the space to take afternoon naps or sleep in,” I told her. Give me pills that I can take, a quick and precise action to perform, a tea that I can brew, a fruit that I can eat, a fast and easy fix; give me that and I can do it. But resting? Taking time out? Stopping?
I asked if there was any other way to overcome the challenges I’m facing. My Doctor's answer? A strong, a hardy “Nope.”
My body has backed me into a corner. And again I'm forced to learn how to rest. Body, soul and spirit – a trinitarian restoration of sorts.
This journey has been a long one for me. And I bet it has been for some of you, too. In different ways and in different seasons, perhaps your life and body have insisted that you rest. But rest can be a difficult thing to sort out. There are stigmas, assumptions, social pressures, financial pressures, religious pressures, work issues, commitments and more, that can make the function of rest a confusing one to achieve and become a part of your routine.
Maybe you’re not experiencing health challenges due to a lack of rest, but I bet some areas of your life could use some? Downtime with your partner? Play time with your kids? Do you even remember how to surf? Do a jigsaw puzzle? Read a book?
Our bodies, spirits, and souls need rest, play, and fun. These things are not guilty pleasures, but NEEDS.
And I get it, it can feel selfish. There is so much going on in the world and around us that needs our attention, that has a sense of urgency to it, or that we’ve committed to and must follow through. And look, even though the Doctor said I need to rest, I’m still working. I’m sitting here at my desk being “productive.”
Resting is not another word for laziness or doing nothing. It’s not a lesser “activity” or an indulgence. It’s not in opposition to work and productivity and progress. It’s a part of it. It’s holy and sacred. It’s priorities and disciplines and learning the power and goodness of the word “No.” (which is not evil, FYI).
We are a society that is becoming dependent on quick, easy fixes. We want to take the pill, switch the button, perform quick actions, easy changes, three steps to success, protect what's ours at any cost. We’re so busy trying to become great, that we’re missing what greatness really is.
To rest is to trust, to have faith, and to let go. Three things I think we find harder than we care to admit…