Real rest. Deep soul rest. Have you experienced it? Is your heart calm or does it flutter with the pitter patter of anxious thoughts, breathes that are tight, and uncertainty that pulls?
One of the challenges in motherhood is knowing what to do with my free time when I have it. What will give me rest? What will restore? Sometimes just the decision of how to spend my “free” time sends me into a paralyzingly panic attack!
Mother or not each of us can benefit from true rest in our souls.
How do we get there? Is it really even possible? The world is so loud and our to-do lists are never-ending.
Jesus promises again and again that He provides rest. True rest. And not just the “wow that was a good night of sleep rest” but deep soul rest.
A while back I read a book and in it the author posed the question “when was the last time you felt rested? Really rested?” Hmm, I could not point to an answer. She assured me that she too had not felt fully rested in years. So I began a quest; a quest for rest. Quest is the right word because it was a challenge. It did not come easily or quickly. I tried to cut back in our schedule, planned “me” time, family time, date nights and movie nights. I tried sleeping, walking, spending time in nature, and on the couch. All were pretty good and I wondered “is this as good as it gets?”
Is this the rest? Is this the deep soul rest?
When I was a young girl I wondered aloud often, “but how will you KNOW when you’ve met your husband?” “Oh you’ll know” they said, “You’ll just know.” I put my blind faith and trust that I would and sure enough “they” were right. That doesn’t mean I didn’t try every means possible on my own to fulfill this deep desire within me. I wanted a husband and I wanted one in my time and in my way. It was only when I fully released this striving on my own for a husband that God delivered me the most perfect man for the job. And let me assure you, being married to me can at times be considered a job! 😂
The point is this- I had to release my own grip and my own way before my hands were open to receive God’s blessing. I think the same is true of rest. Are you striving after it in your own way? Are you trying to include God in bits and pieces instead of letting Him take over? He wants to.
It’s not an inconvenience for Him or trouble for Him. He wants to give you that deep soul rest.
Are you willing to let go and let Him? It won’t look like you think it will in your head. God doesn’t work that way. He doesn’t take over only to have us need to figure it all out on our own. He invites us into rest “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest…you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29. It’s not a maybe, it’s a promise; I will. It’s a vow. Rest for your souls. Deep. Soul. Rest.
Isn’t that what we’re all looking for on some level? A deep peace. We strive for these things and we are frustrated when we can’t get there on our own. We blame God. Where is this rest you promised?? But then very little in our lives actually reflects our desire.
We continue to act and make decisions that don’t align with this supposed desire.
We hold onto our anxious thoughts.
We fill our calendar with activity after activity, giving God the left-overs instead of the first fruits.
He wants to bless the first fruits. The widow gave out of her little. She gave all she had. (Mark12:41-44) God wants you to give out of what you have.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “you reap what you sow.” What are you sowing? Are you sowing peace? Are you sowing time with Him? Are you being obedient to all that He is asking of you?
The world has blinded our minds to believe that Netflix and putting our feet up at the end of the day is what is going to give us rest. It doesn’t!! I’m not saying it’s all bad. It’s not a bad thing to relax. But it’s not rest! It’s not real rest. It’s not real rest for your soul.
And once you have found rest for your soul you will never ever want to go back to your old way of resting. Once you have a peace that envelops your heart and your mind and your soul and your body you will want to live your life from that place.