One More Restful Snuggle

 

Are you tired of resting yet? (LOL!) Thanks for hanging in here with me.

A few more definitions of Rest and then I’ll bring it all together:

+ a place that provides shelter or lodging for travelers, as an inn.

+ a piece or thing for something to lean on or hold onto: a hand rest.

+ to be supported or based; lie, lean, or sit: The ladder rests firmly against the tree.

To rest in God is to LEAN on, be BASED in, and SUPPORTED by, God.

And check this out:

2 Corinthians 12:9:
9 But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may Rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

God, Almighty Creator and Father, pitches a tent over you and then He comes into that tent and hangs out with you. WOW.

Jeremiah 6:16, NIV, says, “Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, ask the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, “We will not walk in it,” …”

Thank you, Father, for the gift of rest that you gave us in Jesus! Gracious and loving Father, incline our hearts toward you.  Help us to know your mother’s heart. We need to know Your unconditional, unfailing love for each and every one of us. We need to know Your total acceptance of each of us. We need to understand that You want wonderful things for us. Please lead us into this revelation as we learn to rest in you.

We are not those ancient Israelites. We are not turning our backs on Your invitation. We are asking for REST, an ancient, Godly way. When Jesus says to us in the New Testament, “Come. Rest.”, we are going to accept that gracious invitation! Amen.

Have these definitions helped you? Have they given you a deeper desire to spend more time with Father God, snuggling into His Rest? I, for one, want more Rest. I want more of God.

What are your thoughts? Thank you for sharing! Blessings to you!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Snuggling into Rest

IMG_5207

As promised, more thoughts about Rest. Let’s snuggle a little deeper.

Rest is a field unplowed and unplanted. It’s a flower you cannot see, under the ground waiting for spring sunshine to call it forth. It’s a bear, barely breathing in its den.

A bush with beautiful berries or a bush with dead leaves are both at Rest. It’s just that one is pleasant to see and one looks dead. Each is Resting in its own way. Both will sprout leaves in the spring because they are alive. You can’t help but bloom again once you’ve rested. When we are resting in God’s presence, trusting Him and His promises, we can’t help but bloom either. We are not dead. We are simply resting in Him, waiting in His presence until it’s time to bloom again.

God commands us to Rest in Exodus 20 and He spends several sentences explaining it.

God invites us to Rest in Jeremiah 6 and Matthew 11.

And everywhere you look, you see that Rest is a gift.

What is Rest?

There are many pages of definitions for the word Rest. Here are a few of them:

-the refreshing quiet or repose of sleep, to lie down, especially to sleep. a good night’s rest.

relief or freedom, esp. from anything that wearies, troubles, or disturbs

-to be at peace or ease; be tranquil, mental or spiritual calm

-the repose of death: eternal rest.

 –cessation or absence of motion: to bring a machine to rest.

 -In Music: a. an interval of silence between tones. b. a mark or sign indicating it.

I love this: Rest notes in music produce… nothing, only silence. But rest notes are very important to the tempo and rhythm of any piece of music. Rest notes are like zeroes, which are just place keepers, they are “nothing” but at the same time they are essential. We need to see our Rest as essential to the rhythm and tempo of our lives, as place markers to the entire sum/product of our lives. Think about that!! “Nothing” is extremely important!

I think I’ll stop here. I can see I need to do one more post regarding rest this week.  I’m preaching to myself here, friends! I hope you’re finding some encouragement, too. I know I am. Thanks so much for joining me in re-visiting all these Rest definitions.

Please join the conversation:

What does Rest mean to you? Which definition is your favorite? I still love the way  the musical definition applies to our lives.

I pray the Lord will put a deep desire in our hearts to snuggle deep into His Rest, which is simply snuggling deep into Him. Blessings, ya’all!

 

 

Rest awhile (Self-care, Week 6)

2014-06-23 14.21.09

This is a hard one. We all dream about being able to rest. It sounds so luxurious.  But so many of us think we just don’t have time to rest. “Oh yeah,” we think,” someday I’ll finish this project… the kids will grow up… I’ll get my degree… I’ll retire…”. The list is endless. And someday never comes.

But rest is not a luxury. It’s a necessity.

We are created to rest. We NEED to rest. My friend, if God Himself rested after creating the world, who are WE to think we don’t need, or can’t, rest?

If we aren’t resting, we aren’t taking care of ourselves. Without rest, our bodies wear out faster and are more open to sickness. Without rest, our minds become overwhelmed and we become less able to reason and think clearly. Without rest, our souls can’t find peace, we can no longer hear the whispers of love and guidance from our Heavenly Father.

First we have to agree we need rest. Do you? Of course, you do, and you know it!

“But, But, But!!!” I can hear the screams. I was one of those screaming people. OK, full disclosure: I still struggle with it. But it’s worth the effort to work on it!

Please, just stop a few minutes, take a deep breath and consider…

In order to make a change, we need to be intentional, to set a plan. And it needs to be in small, do-able steps. So the first thing necessary to adding rest to our lives is to plan a small amount of time to set aside. Then, guard it like your life depends on it, ’cause it does!

Nobody is asking you to take an entire day, as in a Sabbath. Not yet. Just once a week, plan 30 minutes with no electronics, no disturbances. Lock the bathroom door and take a bubble bath. Lay down when the kids take a nap or do homework. Read the Psalms. Take some deep breaths and relax. Unless the house is on fire or someone is bleeding to death, it can wait. REALLY. It CAN wait for 30 minutes. At first, it may seem like you’re gritting your teeth, watching the minutes tick past. That’s fine. Don’t give up.

Think thirty minutes feels like too much? How about 10 minutes for starters? Do what you can!

The Bible says we “labor to enter Rest”. In our busy, do-everything-right-now world, it is surely laborious to carve out time for rest. As we continue the practice, though, we will get better. Did you fall off the bike when you first tried riding it? Yep. It takes practice. Did you play Bach the first time you sat at the piano? Nope. It takes practice.

No one is going to help you do this. Oh, they might SAY they agree you need to rest, but are they going to stand guard while you are sequestered in your prayer closet? Maybe. Maybe not. Don’t let that stop you. YOU are going to have to go to bat for YOU!

And when (I didn’t say “If”) you forget or allow yourself to be sucked into the drama, don’t despair. Call for a Re-Do and try again. Pray! Ask God to help. He is the one who invites us to rest in the first place. Practice until that 30 minutes feels natural. Then add to it.

Rest is an invitation. Rest is a command. Rest is a gift.

There are so many things I planned to say about rest. However, when I sat down to polish this up today, an entirely different path presented itself. Perhaps I’ll write more about Rest later this week. It is definitely the word for these days. In fact, Pastor Dave* spoke on it yesterday. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I opened my planner and realized Rest is the Self-Care Tool for this week!

Now it’s YOUR turn! What small thing are you going to do this week that is a step toward more Rest in your life? How are you going to use your new Rest tool? Please share! I’m sure you have a your own personal interpretation on the subject. Maybe you already take a true Sabbath. Do you? Please tell me/us how you got there. My goal is to take a whole day, a Sabbath-unto-the-Lord- kind of day.

Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for more about Rest a little later this week!

God bless you with Rest!

* Pastor Dave is our pastor: David Newell, River of Life Church, 5508 Munford Road, Raleigh, NC 27612,  riverofliferaleigh.com