God calls us to rest. That word is mentioned thousands of times in scripture, so it must be important. As I set out to understand what it means to seek divine rest, I came across a sister blog. A sweet East Texas momma Ester Anderson said, “There is one expression that is often used by Spanish speaking moms: “Santo silencio” which translates to holy or sacred silence.” Goodness, I need some sacred silence in my life.
We can all agree the world we exist in feels like pure chaos most days. Even as I set out for intentional rest I find my endless to do list creeping into my mind. I’m suddenly filled with anxiety over it and then need rest from my rest. As a society we can find specifically designated time for rest over and over again. Think about it. A play at the theater includes an intermission, football games include a half time, schools have recess, even the busy corporate world mandates a lunch hour. We see the need for rest, yet we resist it so often.
One of the biggest hot topics with new Moms is sleep. I can say with great certainty that the greatest moments of tension in my early mom life were caused by sleep, or lack of it! My mind plagued with thoughts of, dear child don’t you know that all your distress would be solved with just a little rest! When my daughters are overtired and over stimulated they naturally become extremely cranky, irritable, anxious, angry, and frustrated. As parents we have to shepherd our children to rest because they cannot even recognize their own exhaustion. Nap-time/bedtime looks more like a scene out of, The Walking Dead, then the peaceful storybooks we envisioned. But we continue to push them until they finally give in and sleep. Their rest transforms from an unbearable attitude to a gentle spirit.
Rest transforms us
God wants us to escape the wandering in our own wilderness' to find the holy pause with Him.
God is that parent begging us to slow down and rest our weary souls. He sees those same emotions in us that we cannot or aren’t willing to recognize. Those negative emotions might be natural, but are poison to our soul. We fight it as hard as our children do, saying, but God let me finish this email, let me do one more load of laundry, just a few more minutes and I promise I’ll find a moment to rest in You. He wants us to escape the wandering in our own wilderness’s to find the holy pause with Him. Jesus came to give us a supernatural rest from the busyness, rest from our wandering minds, rest from constant worrying. I’m not talking about actual sleep, although we know He cares about that too, the rest that He wants us to have is a spiritual one. He knows the anguish in our hearts when life is chaos and the so-called rat race is upon us once again.
How can we find that rest we desire? Jesus gives us the instructions in Matthew 11:28-30. “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
We have to actually come to Him, being intimately known through prayer.One of the most powerful prayers I’ve learned to pray as a busy mom is, “Lord I know you desire for me to spend time resting, please take those brief moments of rest and multiply them.” Even if your moments of rest are infrequent and scattered, He can take those times and fill you up to the point of overflowing with thoughts of peace and gratitude.
Jesus also asks us to take up His yoke. He wants our work to become His work, our thoughts to become His thoughts, our passions to become His passions. All our daily to do’s aren’t done in vain when done for the Lord. He promises us that it will be a light and easy burden to bear. The fruit of the labor is worth it, and in the end he provides us that rest.
The final way we can find rest, is in His wisdom. We have the ultimate resource for it, a guidebook laid out to us. In Hebrews 4:10-12 it says, “For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall. For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” There is a reason the power of God’s word is discussed immediately following the talk of rest. As we read and absorb scripture, the truths of his humble and gentle character saturate our heart and creates in us a restful soul.
I urge you to find time today to rest in the glory of our Savior; even if you have to pencil it into your planner or set a reminder on your phone. It might just be the exact refreshment your soul needs.