How do you allow your soul to rest? I love the tagline of Emily Freeman’s blog, Chatting at the Sky: “a place where your soul can breathe.”
We all need a place to rest, wouldn’t you say? And yet in today’s world, we are wrapped tighter and are busier than ever before. Or so it seems to me. Honestly, there are times that I would just love to go back in time to the days of Laura Ingalls Wilder and slow down, but I cannot. I wasn’t born into her world, and so I must learn to live in this one.
I appreciate this call to rest, to allow my soul to breathe in and breathe out. Since becoming a mom, life is packed tight with so many things to do, and I try to stay small, but life can still be so very busy that it crowds out the still small voice and a chance to rest. From room mom duty to homework to dance class to school activities to chores, from bible study to volunteering: umm, I’ve packed it in.
What I most love about rest is that is allows me to gain strength at the Father’s feet, and allows me to get what I need from Jesus.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:18-30
Despite the fact that the demands on our time and our person never stop, “the Bible makes it very clear that we are to pursue rest. Literally we are to hit the pause button on life once a week and guard our rest.” Lisa points out that if we want to have JOY in the Lord, rest is required. Oh how often, we dismiss rest in favor of more activity – activities we think will bring us joy, might I add. And do they really?
“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the LORD has spoken. Isaiah 58:13-14
The keys to Sabbath rest are threefold: 1. not going your own way, 2. not doing as you please, and 3. not speaking idle words. I can’t tell you how many times those three things cause my soul unrest because I choose not to do them.
True Sabbath is found in Christ. In Him we see a picture of grace. And in grace we can be vulnerable enough to be completely honest with ourselves about ourselves. Completely honest.
In light of all that God’s been teaching me, I love the quote I just shared.
How are you not following Him, doing whatever you want, and speaking just whatever you feel you can? Rest allows us to actually evaluate ourselves to fall in line with His good plan.
You know what this all seems to boil down to: submission to the King. Desiring Him more than anything else. I want that. I need that. How about you?
And then joy comes. And do you know what the inheritance of Jacob is? The presence of the Lord and all He offers physically and spiritually in this life and eternally in the next life. Pretty good deal, don’t you think?
Oh this is my heart right now.
My soul needs to exhale. So desperately.
I live for that white space, that margin where we can stop and breathe and rest.
In the busy-ness of today’s world, we need a Sabbath more than ever.
It is vital that we set aside time each day and each week to breathe. Rest.
Be with Jesus.
The space doesn’t just happen, we have to create it.
Schedule it in, carve it out, make the space.
Because that space is where we are changed. We slow, we stop, we mediate, we listen. And we are changed.
Our souls were made for rest, so to neglect it is to deprive ourselves of a crucial need, a need we were actually made for.
Don’t sacrifice the needed for the “necessary”.
Where there is a lack of rest, there is an abundance of stress.
I’m pretty sure that neither one of us need any more stress. Agreed?
Let’s find that rest this week. Whether it’s a few hours alone at a coffee shop, or a few minutes alone in the bathroom. Embrace the space. You need it.