I took God up on His offer to rest, wish I hadn’t waited so long.

Let’s take a deep breath and rest.  Rest.  What a loaded word that has been for me.  In the past, someone would say “get some rest” and immediately I’d think I don’t have time.  I did not know how to rest. There was too much to do.  If I don’t do it who will?  Anyone?!  I’d actually get jealous of other people’s free time wondering how they had less to accomplish than I did.  Strong words for such a small idea wouldn’t you say?  Especially when you look at some of it’s synonym’s  like take a break, breather, breathing space, calmness, coffee break, comfort, holiday, leisure, nap, siesta, time off.  Where did that come from, that idea I was so busy I couldn’t rest?  I’d hear my inner voice say: rest is for the weak and lazy, there is too much to do, I don’t have time, just one more thing, then I can sit down.  That is a lot of importance and pressure to put on one’s self.  Does any of this sounds familiar to you?  Be encouraged.

Let’s try that again.  Take a deep breath and rest. Okay that wasn’t so hard.  Some of you may be relieved to know I’ve learned a thing or two about resting and I’m getting better and better at practicing it.

I still struggle to prove to myself how much can I accomplish in a days time.  That’s just it though, what am I trying to prove and to whom?  If my self-worth comes from the things I can accomplish, I’ve set myself up for failure.  This wasn’t something I figured out on my own.  It came from exhaustion of keeping the fast paced schedule for decades.  Raise the kids, keep the house, PTA, church, volunteer, be the perfect spouse, friends, family, holidays, the next move.  Then add in a part-time job.  Oh that was fun and I found out I liked working.  Work full-time?  Sure!  Exciting!  Welcome to 50, now start exercising so you can still feel 30.  Now I’m really laughing at myself.  Sure I feel like 30 in my heart and head,  but I could not keep up with the pace I set for myself.   I kept adding more to do and didn’t take anything away.  It was tiring.

Last spring my Bible study was using Open Your Bible by Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams as our guide.  This study is a very practical tool to help women realize that “God’s Word is for them and for now.”  In short, how to open the up the Bible, read it, and meet God in His word.  I’m not new to Bible study.  I’ve been in studies for years and I love it, especially when I’m caught off guard and learn something new about God.

In this particular study there was a lesson about resting in truth.  I knew that the Bible mentions resting in many places.  Exodus 34:21 Work six days but on the seventh day you  rest or Matthew 11:28 Come to me who all who are weary and I will give you rest.   I knew that, in my head anyway.  This was different.  What I was hearing from God; my “ah ha” moment, was God wanted me to let moments of rest lead me to moments with Him.  I was finding my self-worth through my accomplishments.   I didn’t want that.  My worth is based on what God thinks of me and He loved me before I ever came to be.  In that week of study I finally took up God’s offer to rest. I wished hadn’t waited so long.

In quiet moments of rest, God doesn’t have to compete with my busyness.  He can whisper a kind word to share with a stranger or bring up a memory of a sweet time.  In moments of rest He gives me the strength to get up and give it another try, whatever that “it” may be.