_ Study _
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
_ Read _
This past summer was outrageously busy. My husband was working a lot of overtime, I was nose deep in an overwhelming writing project, and our social calendar was filled to the max. With seemingly no end in sight, I felt the Lord calling me to rest. I knew I desperately needed it, so I made small adjustments to my daily activities.
I limited my time on social media, posted on Instagram a few times a week instead of every day. I minimized how much I wrote on my blog. I scaled back on social engagements, took more naps, and gave myself full permission to binge watch mindless TV on Netflix.
I actively pursued rest and felt like I was doing a good job of it, but no matter what I did, my craving went unmet.
One night, I was reading Hayley Morgan’s new book Preach to Yourself and came across this line. “From my perspective, her lack of peace was because she was relying on herself instead of the Lord.” Instantly, through God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit I recognized the error in my ways. In doing all the things to find rest, I neglected the most important part - being in the Lord’s presence.
In a culture that is heavily centered on doing all the things, even self-care and rest have become about what we can do. Buy the bath bombs to soak your tight muscles. Escape the stress of the day by pouring a glass of wine and getting your Netflix on. Get away to a remote island to rejuvenate. While these are all restful activities, and wonderful in and of themselves, the truth is, we cannot and will not find true rest outside of Christ.
There’s both freedom and conviction in this truth. We do not have to do anything to find rest, BUT we must spend time being in His presence.
In this holiday season, when the pressure to do all the things, buy all the things, attend all the things seems unavoidable, my prayer is that we might create space to be in His presence. Whether mentally slowing our mind, and praising God for the beautiful snow coating the ground while in line at the mall, or carving out time to light candles and snuggle under a blanket with our Bible and a journal – let’s pursue time with our Father who never grows tired or weary - for in Him we know rest.
_ Practice _
Take 15 minutes to be in the Lord’s presence. Listen to Lauren Daigle’s My Revival and All Son’s and Daugther’s Rest in You – close your eyes and slow your breathing as you listen to the lyrics that declare that God alone is our rest. After the two songs finish, stay in silence for 5 more minutes; be present in the presence of the Lord. Dwell on who He is; recall what He has done both in Scripture and in your life. Ask Him to renew your strength.
Want to add a bonus element to your time of rest?
Find the nearest wall, lie down on the floor and put your legs up the wall, as demonstrated in the photo of my niece, Lola. :) This pose has many health benefits – calms the nervous system, relieves back pain, supports thyroid function – and research has even shown that 15 minutes in this position is equivalent to one hour of sleep.