When I read this post by Naa, it spoke to my Heart in ways I can’t express. We are always struggling, trying to do it all, praying over and over again that we simply forget to REST.
I was on the phone with my dad a few days ago and I was telling him how big my son had grown and how day in, day out I never notice him grow till something that used to fit him suddenly stops fitting. He laughed and his response has been something the Holy Spirit has had me pondering on ever since. He said, “babies grow whilst they sleep”.
Ever, since he made that statement, my mind has been drawn to several scriptures on rest in the Bible and I am beginning to understand why God asks us to rest in Him. I have even learnt that, resting in the Lord is not just an earthly thing, it is in heaven as well. As a woman who is always on the move, trying to do a zillion things at once and worrying my little heart about everything, it is amazing to understand that God actually want to give us rest. Matthew 11:28 says we “should come to him all ye who are burdened and he will give us rest”. Burdened here, talks about physical weariness and emotional stress as well.
I had never thought about how important rest was, I thought sleep came to everyone at some point. But watching my son,who can fight sleep with all his might struggle to stay awake even though he is obviously tired, I have come to realise that rest requires making a conscious effort to actually put mind and body to ease. So per the scripture above, God is telling us to first of all realise that we are weary, secondly, we should realise that our weariness will not go away till we make an effort by COMING TO HIM. And when we do,he will give us the needed rest. After my son spends hours fighting sleep, he usually just gets knocked out and that is what God wants to give us. When we come to him, he eventually just puts us in a state where the raging battles do not matter to us anymore. And that is the beauty of resting, not only do we grow whilst we rest, nothing else matters anymore whilst we are in a state of rest!
Rest is needed for growth. At my son’s last weigh in, he had not gained as much weight as I was expecting him to. The nurse in charge asked me, Is he eating well? I said yes. She then looked at me with a knowing smile on her face and said, he fights sleep and he is really active too. I replied yes to that as well. She playfully told my son, how will you grow big if you will not sleep? For us to grow in the Lord, you have to know when to move and when to rest. Knowing these will make a vast difference in our Christian life. Some battles are won by our efforts; others are won by our rest. When the Israelites were going to war, Gideon thought he needed the numbers to beat the enemy but God made him realise that he only needed to show up knowing whose he was. Often, we think we have to do so many things for us to qualify to be heard by God but sometimes, He only wants us to come to him and say, “Daddy, I am worn out”
Resting is holiness. I recently had a conversation with an Adventist who was telling me why they celebrate the Sabbath. I told him, it’s not important which day you choose to fellowship with other believers. He then made a profound statement. He said, “The Sabbath is not just about going to church. It is God’s desired principle that governs existence-Rest,Reverence and Revelation that brings us Restitution and Revival”. You see, resting is so important to God that He made it part of human existence and even made it Holy. “By the seventh day, God had finished the work He was doing so He rested on the seventh day. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy “ Genesis 2:2-3.
God created us with rest in mind. If even, the creator of the world needed to rest then what exactly is our excuse?
In heaven, the saints who have gone ahead of us are resting and waiting for us.”Then each of them was given awhite robe, and they were told to wait a little longer until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers were killed just as they had been” Revelations 6:11. If we don’t learn the art of restingon earth, how do we rest in eternity? Think about it.