August 22, 2021

Finding Rest, Silence, and Stillness by Alan Anderson


In reading the InScribe blog posts for this month, we are aware of the importance of rest in our lives. A key Bible passage for the theme of rest is Matthew 11:28 which states,


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28)



A 21st Century Rendition of Matthew 11: 28.

“Come to me, if you have time to hang out for a second or so, all you who are looking for something else to do, and I will give you a list of errands to keep you busy.”


As I contemplated Matthew’s words, I had to step back and ask myself if I believed this statement. There is a time in my life when I wonder if I did. The rendition I wrote of Matt. 11:28 reflects how I used to live. How about you? Can you relate?


Around October 1997, I experienced a period of burnout. This was like spending life in a dark tunnel groping about as a blind man in unfamiliar territory. As a bi-vocational pastor, I worked full time as a school custodian to support my family. I devoted several hours per day to my church ministry. In addition, I studied for a Master’s degree to develop my ministry skills. After a few years of this pressure, I crashed and burned.


Experience with burnout resulted in my decision to change where I wanted my energy to focus. I realized in this time I lost a balance between labour, rest, and God. This period of burnout provided an opportunity to continue to serve, but in another context of ministry. First, I had to rest.


My period of rest included separation from pastoral ministry. I carried on with my studies and my full-time employment. Through a more contemplative approach to ministry, I looked to God for direction. Here is some of what I learned at this time in my life.


Rest, Silence, and Stillness

If I did not come to this place of burnout, I would have missed the blessing of rest, silence, and stillness. Rest helps our bodies to slow down and relax. This physical rest helps our mind, heart, and spirit. Through rest, we can discover the gift of silence. Silence calms us from listening to the all-consuming voices of the world. Silence leads the way to an inner ability to be still. In stillness, we can listen to God. As you may already know, this is not a simple process to follow.


Over the years of interacting with people, I encountered many Christians who were just plain tired. Even pastor burnout is not uncommon. We can speak of rest, yet not practice it. We may use triumphant language, yet neglect to listen to God. This is a recipe for busyness without blessing.


Please allow yourself to at least consider these final thoughts:

  • ·       Make room for rest without allowing excuses to dictate.
  • ·       When others lose their peace and turn to fear, we can rest and be calm.
  • ·       Embrace silence and allow this gift to hold you as well.
  • ·       In stillness, we can listen to God with assurance He listens to us.





Alan lives in Deroche, B.C. with his wife, Terry. He contributed stories to Good Grief People by Angel Hope Publishing, 2017 ; Story by Story: The Power of a Writer, Unstoppable Writers Publishing, 2018, and . Alan has also written articles for FellowScript Magazine. Blog: Alan is the Provincial Rep. Liaison and BC Rep for InScribe.



  1. So good, Alan. I also want to learn to embrace silence and be embraced by it.
    "We may use triumphant language, yet neglect to listen to God." These words of yours caught my attention. I'm so guilty of this so much of the time.
    Praise God He continues the good work in us that He started. One of His ways is to sharpen us through the words of our sisters and brothers.
    Thank you, brother.
    Blessings - Wendy Mac 🕊️

    1. I'm humbled by your comments, Wendy. I don't know about you, but I'm listening less and less to the perceived "wisdom" of the world around is. Our only hope lies in the Lover of our souls. We need each other!

  2. Replies
    1. I appreciate your encouragement, Tracy.

  3. So true. God isn't in the wind storm. God isn't in the earthquake or fire. He speaks with a still, small voice. We also saw how Jesus was crashed out in the stern of the boat while his disciples were panicking about the storm. I believe he knew it would happen and it was all planned to teach the disciples who had the power and in whom they should trust.

  4. Thank you for the thoughtful words, Bruce.

  5. Thanks for these words of wisdom, Alan, and for this month's prompt! Was it hard to come up with ideas after I summarized your earlier blog posts?


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