First off, let me start by stating that rest is a very biblical principle. God did it after he created the world (Gen. 2:3). God called the Israelites to do it on the Sabbath (Ex. 20:8-11). Jesus even took periods of rest from his ministry to get closer to God (Lk. 5:16). I even wrote a whole paper on this a year ago, but don’t worry I won’t bore you with it!
What I mean by rest is physically, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually slowing down for a period of time (hours or even days) in order to recover and experience renewal with God by connecting and pouring out the depths of your heart to him. I think that practicing rest has been a very difficult thing for me to do; especially in light of my two jobs and seminary studies.
In my own life this is what rest often looks like for me:
– Turn my electronics off and get away from home or the office to a place that is quiet.
– Writing, reading aloud, and meditating on passages of Scripture and even my own prayer requests.
– Getting in a posture of prayer (whether that is kneeling, bowing, folding hands, etc.).
– Not worrying about whether or not I’ll say the “right things”…I have to remember to bring God my joys, frustrations, happiness, sorrow, and depth in order to truly connect and be vulnerable with him.
– Reading a book on the subject of prayer, God’s character, spiritual disciplines, etc.
Processing these things to God can help us get to a place where we can rest our souls and move into the next step of waiting.
Jesus said, ““Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matt. 11:28-30 MSG).
Will you join Jesus in his call to give our worn out and stressful lives to him? Join me in finding and sharing the unforced rhythms of grace.
Check out the first post of the series: Fostering Spiritual Disciplines Simply and Practically