post by our ever lovely Anna Bishop ~
About 19 months ago God called me to leave my job at YWAM LA, go home to Idaho, & learn how to rest. Being an “always on the go” kind of girl, my time at home has been quite the journey. It has been the most difficult season in my life & also super eye-opening. So today I thought I’d share with you some of the things God has been showing me about how crucial it is to value & pursue rest.
Resting is a tricky business. I don’t know about you, but I find it terribly hard to accomplish. There are so many things to do—we have homes to clean, errands to run, papers to write, meals to cook, ministry responsibilities to keep up with, etc., etc., etc. It’s awfully tiring isn’t it? Yet even when we feel exhausted & we’re terrified we’ll collapse if we take another step, we keep going.
We try to fit rest in to our schedule, like it’s a “5 minutes a day between finishing that presentation before tomorrow’sdeadline & hitting the gym” kind of a thing. Call me crazy but I don’t think rest is supposed to be something that we barely manage to fit into our schedule. God has been showing me that it’s meant for something much more than that. Rest is a state of mind that Jesus calls us to take on each and every day of our crazy lives.
There are lots of types of rest, but I think the most relevant on a day-to-day basis are rest for our bodies, rest for our souls, & rest for our minds & emotions. There are so many passages in the Bible that talk about rest. The value Jesus alone puts on it during his time on earth is huge. And since we’re called to be like Christ I’ve been focusing a lot on what He has to say about it.
Jesus says to rest our physical bodies in Mark 6:31. “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” He’s telling us to turn off the TV & get into bed an hour earlier. He inviting us to curl up with the book we’ve been dying to read & a cup of coffee. He’s wants us to nap when we need it. He wants us to value our bodies by listening to them & physically slowing down when we are tired.
He calls us to rest our souls in Matthew 11:29 saying, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jesus wants us to bring Him ALL the things that trouble us; all the reasons we’re happy or sad or terrified or excited. He wants to remind us that we are not alone. He’s walking alongside us & empowering us to carry on. He is just waiting for us to ask for peace & strength so He can freely give it to us.
Matthew 11:28 invites us to rest our minds & emotions. Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” The states of our minds & emotions depend on a lot of things. They depend on the food we’re eating, the amount of exercise we’re getting, the amount of stress we’re under, & whether we’re seeking & believing God’s truth or the enemy’s lies. Eat the foods that make you feel your best. Make it a point to get in some sort of physical activity for at least 20 minutes a day. Write the Scriptures that speak of God’s truth for your life on note cards & read them when catch your mind siding with the enemy. Put Satan in his place.
God is not only giving you permission to slow down & take time for yourself; He is calling you to it. He values you. He values your precious life. You are here for a very important reason. Spend time with Him in prayer, praise, & in His Word. Give Him your cares & worries. Praise Him for your successes & your trials. You are valued. You are important. You are beautiful. You are worthy of being loved & you are worthy of taking time to rest. My prayer is that you invite God to come in to every space of your busy life & allow Him to help you receive the rest you need. That’s the prayer that I’ve been praying for myself & I have been learning so much.
I hope you have a beautiful, restful weekend.
With Love, Anna