Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dirty Laundry Sunday: Rest

Getting enough rest is one of those lessons that reappear in my radar every now and then. This is a busy season of life for me, there's no denial but it is also a season to take advantage of resting so that my health and family do not suffer. 
Secular research has concluded that there are multiple benefits to resting. The Holy Scriptures also have several examples of rest such as God resting on the seventh day and called it holy (Genesis 2:2). In one of Moses' many conversations with God (what an amazing way to live!) he learned that there is rest in the presence of God (Exodus 33:14). 
The most compelling "anchor scripture" when it comes to rest comes from Matthew 11:28-30. The Lord Jesus Himself offers help for people like me who have great excuses to be tired but are in great need of rest. 
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ]ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.
Oh the benefits of allowing Jesus to give me rest! They include refreshment, recreation and blessed quietness for my soul. The Message translation says that when we choose the rest that Jesus offers, we will recover our lives. Being tired does take life away from us, just look at any secular research out there. Jesus invites us to learn to live freely and lightly. 
At this point in life, I realize that I insist that my children rest daily for their own benefit. I have also been known to encourage my husband to rest on a regular basis and unplug from his regular routine so that he'll be refreshed and healthy. For some reason I excluded myself from doing the same. Being pregnant was a great excuse to rest on a regular basis but something happened when I delivered: all of a sudden "super (tireless) woman" wants to take over. 
The truth of the matter is, I need the rest so that I can be all that God's called me to be: a wife and mother who is healthy and whole.
I am guilty of putting too much emphasis on eating well and exercising and not including rest in the equation. My challenge for this week is to add daily rest to my schedule. 
QUESTION • I wonder if you can benefit from more rest. Another good question when trying to carve time to rest: what are some non-essential items in my daily routine? Can I exchange them for rest?