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
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
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
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