Let’s head out on the trail for today and learn why rest is so beneficial.
I have to admit that this is one area where I still have difficulties. I am driven and disciplined, and I realize that I push too far and hard at times. Slowing down can be scary when you’re used to running on the world’s treadmill. At times, I have avoided rest because subconsciously I am fearful of what I will discover. The fear of missing out is also a very real factor. There is always so much to do, and it feels like there is so little time to accomplish the tasks at hand. I do realize that it is all a choice, though.
There is no need to be afraid. God loves us and wants His best for us. 1 John 4:18 tells us, “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”
Rest is something we are designed to do. God has both a purpose and a plan for it, so maybe it would be helpful to consider some of the benefits of rest.
1. Rest re-orients our thinking patterns.
When we are weary and fatigued, it’s the perfect time for the enemy to sow his lies and weave a blanket of discouragement we want to curl up under.
Rest brings our thinking into focus and allows us to clearly see what God says about what we are facing, in His word and through His past faithfulness.
Rest brings the reality of God’s strength and provision into view. We need to remind ourselves that He is the victor. We need truth so we can wield it against the enemy’s taunts. Rest enables us to see the devil as he really is: a liar, cheat, accuser, and more.
2. Rest refreshes us.
Like a sip of cold water to the thirsty, we’ll never know how much we need rest until we put our feet up. Worry and striving will fade away when we allow God to be our source for all things. When we give our mind and heart some wiggle room, we discover peace and the strength to open our hands to release the burdens that weigh us down.
I know I need to take to heart the words of Christ in Matthew 11:28-29, “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.'”
3. Rest recharges our batteries.
We can simply be worn out. Stress, worry, busyness, over-commitment—all of this wears us down. We need to recharge, and only resting can accomplish that. There comes a time when we have to just say, “That’s it. I am taking the time to rest.”
Times of rest are never wasted. God is God. He is at work even when we sleep. Resting allows for us to admit we need His strength.
4. Rest helps us to refocus.
Fatigue skews our outlook until we are staring in the face of the Deadly-D’s:
Rest helps us to adjust our focus so we can see our situation more clearly. We gain perspective as we are quiet in God’s presence, immersed in His word and surrendered to His care.
5. Rest revives.
Once we succumb to the weariness, our response to things to do or places to go is apathy. We don’t have the energy—our margin is worn thin and we would rather hibernate.
Rest revives us with the energy that we lack so that we can flourish and get excited about life again. We discover that our creativity returns as well as the spring in our step.
God’s instructions can revive us as we are reminded in Psalms 19:7, “The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul.”
How have you benefited by resting?
I’d love to hear about times when you simply decided enough is enough. Do you rest willingly or are you reluctant to surrender? Time out to rest accomplishes far more than we realize.
The benefits of rest are often explained away when we are running a hundred miles an hour and have the world chasing us. But, when we rest, we allow God to capture us in His embrace and give us just what we need to run the rest of the race with the strength He provides.
Let me ask you the question…Do you need to rest? What changes will you make in your life to make sure that you take the time to rest?