August 25, 2021

Rest by Sharon Heagy


The shortened CFL season (Canadian Football League) is currently underway so I am watching two games today. One game I will watch with the passion of a fan. I will watch the other trying to spot some family members. I am hoping to pause the play, snap a photo of the TV screen and send the pic to my nephew and thereby bring a thrill my great niece who is sitting in the stands. As the players huff and grunt and thump and bump with each other and the ground, you can almost hear muscles tearing and bruises forming. They will need to rest to heal their bodies before they can compete again.

There are varying sorts of rests. In music, the rest exists for dramatic pause or to affect the flow. The ‘selah’ of the Psalms leads us to reflect on the words we have just read. In literature, punctuation provides pauses for the same reasons listed above but also for clarification and context.

The human body also needs rest to keep it flowing. It’s the way we are designed and without it, we would collapse and be forced to rest whether we like it or not. We need rest for the regeneration of cells and to recharge our energy. It is healthy to rest.

Then there is eternal rest when we pass away, when there is nothing left for which to strive.

But there is another kind of rest for this present moment. A true rest. A peace amid chaos. The kind of rest that requires faith. The kind that allowed Jesus to sleep in the boat in the middle of a storm.  It is to rest in the Lord. For though we need a break physically for our bodies, we also need rejuvenation for our souls and spirits and that rest can only be found in Him.

That leads to the question, ‘how’? I have no idea what Godly rest for you would be, but I can offer suggestions of what helps me to refresh my soul and spirit and perhaps see things from His perspective rather than my own. It should be simple but it requires intentionality and practice.

1. Spend quiet time with God. Read his word and listen for His voice to speak to you however He communicates with you.  Allow the Holy Spirit to wash over you and bathe you in refreshing, restorative rushing waters. Let the Word cut to the heart of the matter and show us God’s perspective and where we may be off track. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) The hard part is to empty our minds of all the anxious thoughts and things on our to-do lists, but the more we practice the easier it gets. And if we learn to hear Him when it is quiet, we will recognize His voice when worry and stress start bubbling up inside and He is trying to intervene and give us peace and perspective.

2. Listen to worship music, especially the pieces based on scripture. Let the living Word fill the nooks and crannies of our heart and push out any crud that has built up, like cleaning fluid flushes out a plugged carburetor.

3. Learn to ask God first before you say, ‘Yes’. Many of us need to learn to say ‘No’. God gives us strength and energy for each day. Sometimes we need to let go of activities that sap our strength and leave little for what God would have us do. Those things ‘He planned in advance’.[i] If we are off doing our own thing it can put us off the path God wants us to walk and we will be exhausted and frustrated. There is a plethora of verses in the Bible that speak about the vanity of our striving without God. It’s totally useless and fruitless.

Rest. Sometimes it seems so elusive as we push through another project, another season, another day, but it just might be one of the most important things we can do to be our most productive, most excellent, most faith-filled selves as we serve Him.

Listen, He is calling you to Himself. To rest, renewal and refreshing so that you may be used fully, as His instrument.


[i] See Ephesians 2:8-10


  1. First let me say that your three pieces of advice are spot on! Quiet time with God is key, but listening to worship music is also a very powerful thing. And of course, REALLY listening and learning to say "No" is an important skill many of us need to learn! On another note I was thrilled to hear from another CFL fan. (I'm originally from Saskatchewan, so even though i haven't lived there for a long time. Once a Rider fan always a Rider fan...) Once when we were watching a game we say my nieces husband and son in the crowd and I quickly took a snap shot! (We had PVR so I could rewind it.) We had no idea they were in the stands that day but it was most definitely them. Little Parker was decked out in his wig etc... So fun! I still have that shot.

  2. Dear Sharon, thank you for this lovely reminder that we can have "A peace amid chaos." Yes, if we learn to recognize His voice in still times, we'll hear Him in the storms.
    Enjoy the games. 💌
    Wendy Mac

  3. Hi Sharon. I resonate with all you say here. I am always happy to know others can say, "No." This took me years to accomplish without feeling guilty. Now I recognize saying no, can be a life saver, so to speak. Daily prayer time is also a practice crucial to my wife and I as we begin our day. To listen to God and capture His gift of rest is vital in this day and age. Blessings to you as you continue to write.

  4. Even football players need a break, hence the half time show.

    I so look forward to my retirement when I won't have to work or look for writing jobs.

  5. Will be praying, Bruce, for a restful retirement.

  6. What an encouraging piece, Sharon. I particularly relate to #3, "Learn to ask God first before you say, ‘Yes’." Saying No can sometimes be difficult.

  7. Thanks, Sandi. God bless.


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