When life is exhausting, choose rest and let the Lord refresh your body and soul.
Updated: May 13, 2021
The last few weeks have been interesting around here, including but not limited to: state basketball, spring break, a few days away with my husband, a return to a crazy schedule, efforts to get back on track with my side business, a lot of long nights including trips to the ER resulting in an asthma diagnosis for one of my kiddos (that’s a whole different post), and now an attempt to return to normal.
Phew . . . I’m a little worn out just remembering all the details of the past month. And though this place is exactly where God meant me to be, I'm tired.
This morning, with the big kids on the bus for school, my youngest in the bath, laundry started, and the dishwasher half emptied, I realized I hadn’t even made it to my planner to make my list for the day. Normally, I would have scheduled out some of my tasks at the beginning of the week, already having a general idea of what needed to be done daily. But lately, nothing has been normal. I tried to mentally list things needing to be done, but my brain didn’t want to cooperate. It and my body longed for rest.
So I walked to my planner and wrote the word REST. Because I needed it.
Rest is not something I’m good at. Normal me likes to be busy; my goal is often not to sit down. I take pride in being active and productive. A long list of checked-off to-dos gives me a sense of accomplishment. And finally, after five months of pregnancy nausea, I was feeling ready to get back into the groove of going.
And then I found myself needing rest.
Rest makes me feel lazy.
Rest makes me feel weak.
Rest makes me feel like I have failed.
But that’s not what God says about rest. God says rest is necessary after work.
He did not create us to be super-beings, able to effectively function without rest.
Isn’t that part of why He created night and day? He gave us night for rest and sleep. And speaking of creation, after working for six days, what did God do? Oh yeah, He rested. If even the Creator of the world chose rest, we can choose it, too.
The need for rest doesn’t make us weak, we were created weak. Our human bodies, our minds, our emotions, our spirits, all have limitations.
Our God? He knows no limits.
And when we feel our weakness the most, what have we been instructed to do? Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Whether we are physically, emotionally, or spiritually exhausted, our Lord commands us to come to Him so He can give us rest.
When we are tired and empty we must have rest in order to best serve others.
The need for rest is not a sign of failure, but a reminder that we need to be refilled in order to be refueled.
Without physical rest, our bodies and attitudes are worn. In an exhausted state, we will not serve our families well. We are more likely to be impatient and annoyed. Our emotions can barely handle the weight of our own thoughts and expectations let alone the needs of our children, husbands, or work. Sometimes we need the physical rest so God can also refill our souls, allowing us to be refueled to do His work. When we are rested, we are better able to serve those around us.
Friends, we were not created to be tireless, waltzing through life on a cloud of energy. Our Lord knew we would grow weary and need rest. Choosing rest is not a sign of laziness, or weakness, or failure. Choosing rest is a beautiful gift from our God who created us with a fundamental need for it. When we rest, we accept that gift and are better able to share His love, grace, and mercy with those around us.
If you are tired and weary, take out your to-do list and write the word REST. Make it a priority. It might mean a nap, a hot shower, ten minutes locked in your room in silence, or maybe some quiet time with your Bible. No matter what form it comes in, make rest a priority. And then enjoy the gift of a refreshed body and soul, ready to better serve those around you.
“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.” (Isaiah 40:30-31)