I am the type of person who is always doing something – running from one activity to the next. I honestly get annoyed at myself if I am not being productive with my day. Having such a busy schedule makes it very difficult to find time to rest.
As I was trying to run from one thing to the next, the Lord was telling me to rest. Practically though, what does true rest look like? I recently tried to not do as many things, but then I found myself doing pointless things like watching Netflix or spending hours on social media (which aren't bad things). Maybe I was physically resting, but I was not resting as the Lord intended me to.
In the book Chasing God by Angie Smith, she writes about how we just need to sit with the Lord – to stop trying to find God but sit with Him instead. As simple as that is, it finally clicked. I was able to rest in who He was. I did not even necessarily need to rest in His presence to feel restored because some days we just do not feel Him. But I was able to rest in who He is and who He says I am.
The Old Testament talks about keeping the Sabbath holy and says to rest on the Sabbath.
Deuteronomy 5:15 states, “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.”
The reasoning for the day of rest was to reestablish the Israelites need of the Lord.
In Hebrews 4, we see that the Sabbath rest is for the people of God. It is a blessing and a promise from God. If our God is a God of purpose and order, which I truly know He is, then the act of resting on the seventh day after creating the universe was to show us that we too need rest.
What does real rest do for us?
Rest restores and reestablishes who is our Provider. It is refreshing and reminds us that we cannot sustain ourselves, that we are dependent on Him. It gives Him room to show us His faithfulness in restoring us. His rest is light and joyful. It is not striving and seeking. We lay down all our thoughts, fears, worries, and ambitions at the foot of the cross knowing He cares.
You are probably reading this saying, “Abby, you don’t understand. I am a teacher and it’s the end of the year. I have a ton of papers to grade.” I hear you. I understand you are drowning in papers and dealing with crazy kids. Which is all the more reason you need rest.
In our microwave generation, finding true rest is one of the least popular things. We want to, but we never have time because we do not understand the value of rest we will enter into. But this kind of rest is valuable, and there is reward in being obedient.
So, I find a day this week to rest with the Lord. Remember your Sabbath does not actually have to be a Sunday, but a time to stop and be with Him. Study your Bible. Pray. Read and edifying book. Meditate on His promises. Write or Journal.