Rest for the Soul

May 23, 2015

Doesn’t the image of a beach just make you want to kick back and relax? When I think of vacation I think of beautiful locations, relaxing spots, and places that put my mind at ease. Unfortunately, beaches aren’t always easy to come by and tropical vacations require some planning.

Rest isn’t only meant for that once a year vacation we get, yet I find myself and so many others waiting to rest on only those trips. I’m a firm believer that rest is required for body, mind, and soul maintenance, yet I struggle to make myself do so.

As women we tend to be multi-taskers, wearing too many hats, and working too many hours of the day. We can cook a meal, do homework, take care of our families, schedule appointments, be with friends, lead at church, and still raise our hand to volunteer when someone is in need of help. And this all can happen within a 24-hour period! This list exhausts me just reading it yet it’s not too far from the reality many of us live in today.

God gives us a beautiful example of rest. In Genesis 2:2, the Bible says that God ended his work and rested on the seventh day. God is not human and God does not need to rest like a human being needs to, yet He did. I believe He did this as an example to show us that not only do we need rest, it is okay to rest. We aren’t immortal, we require sleep, we require quiet time, we require time to rest. If the all powerful God took some time off then we can too!

It is nearly impossible to give to others what we don’t have to give. If we are running on fumes, exhausted, practically burned out ourselves then how can we properly encourage someone else? How can we give our time and energy to properly care for someone if we aren’t properly cared for? We must rest so we can better serve others.

Of course it’s hard to find time to shut down completely for 24 hours but there are other ways to rest. Find time throughout the week to care for yourself. This could done with journaling, reading, crafting, or any hobby you find restful. It may mean going to bed an hour earlier than usual from time to time. It could even be taking a break from social media and other electronic screens that require so much attention. Maybe your rest can be found sitting on your porch, taking time with friends, or even walking around a park. Rest can be found in anything that takes you away from your to-do list for a few minutes to care for and better yourself.

And most importantly, rest can be found in God. The times when your soul feels exhausted are the times you should spend reading His word, finding encouragement in the scriptures, and letting Him take care of you.

Matthew 11:28 gives us that invitation to rest when He says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Those words remind that while temporary rest may be found on sandy beaches in a remote location, His perfect rest is found in Him.