I’ve heard it said, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!”
No, no no no… Don’t do that. PLEASE for the love of GOD, sleep a little before you die.
In all seriousness, we are human. Have you ever burned out? Have you ever hit the wall? Does it cause you anxiety when you think about all the things you “have” to do? Yeah, me too sometimes. It’s okay. We all have limits, and we all have needs. Things like food, eye contact, water, to hear someone’s voice, connection, and coffee. You know, the things that give us life. One of those things we need just so happens to be rest! HALLELUJAH! We have permission to rest!
Here’s the catch, not everyone knows how to rest! It sounds crazy I know, but it’s true. Everyone thinks differently, everyone feels different, everyone has different responsibilities and capacities. And, with that said, everyone finds rest differently.
Here’s the good news!!! (drumroll please) … REST is a GIFT!!!
Jesus said it himself, “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NASB)
Allow me to elaborate. Jesus said “I will give” GIVE “you rest”.
Sweetheart, my dear friend, If you are trying to rest, you are simply missing the point. If rest is a gift, it’s something you can recieve. If it’s something you need right now, I want you to stop and ask. Just ask Jesus for rest. I think you might be surprised by His response. He knows you best! He knows us better than we know ourselves, I’m convinced of that.
I’ve been a student in discipleship schools and ministry schools for about 6 years now, and I’ve had countless pastors, mentors, leaders, and teachers. Too many to count. And in my personal experience the best pastors I’ve ever had and the ones that offered the best care were the ones who really knew how to care for themselves. I remember a few years ago a lady that changed my life, her name is Lorie, I love Lorie. She pastored me for a few years and to this day I’ve never been loved by someone the way she loves.
I took some time to ask some questions and really look at her life and the thing that stood out to me was this: I could tell that she really loved herself. She allowed herself to be loved by Jesus first. That was her main priority. All of her life flowed directly from that place, she knew Him deeply and intimately. When she gave someone her time, she also gave them her full attention. When she showed up, she showed up with her whole heart. She always had something to give, never without. Lorie also had strong boundaries, she never bit off more than she could chew, always said her “yeses” prayerfully and patiently. And she always leaned on Holy Spirit. She leaned back, she rested in Him, in her day to day life she rested as she followed through with all she had before her. I’ve never met someone who walked in so much peace. My best and most beautiful friend recently shared this with me, “Rest is not the absence of doing, it’s the presence of peace.” I feel that this wonderful token of wisdom is the perfect way to explain Lorie’s posture in her day to day life.
We rest because we need it, but when it comes to impacting the lives of others, when it comes to loving well, rest should take an even higher level of importance.
Your loved ones need a healthy you.
I’ve experienced many anxious leaders, leaders with drive and passion but no patience. I’ve seen leaders burn out. I’ve been hurt by leaders who burned out. I’ve watched it happen time and time again. Of course there is grace, forgiveness, and much understanding. In fact I’ve done it too. But I’m telling you, sometimes His precious mercy looks like a nap.
So, rest. Rest for you. Rest for others. And, rest for Him.
Rest looks different for everyone, but the first step is always the same. In order to rest well, we must trust. When we genuinely trust the Lord, we immediately enter into a posture of rest. We enter into a place where we aren’t carrying the weight of our responsibilities, we find the freedom to embrace the things that matter most to us because we are carried and covered by Him. Not covered by the weight of our circumstances.
If you aren’t at rest in your heart, your soul, your spirit, your mind, or your body, just take a moment to re-establish your trust in the Lord. He cares about you and all that you are responsible for. Remember how He’s covered you before, how He’s helped you in your weakness in times passed. He is the most trustworthy, personal, understanding, and willing friend we will ever have. And, He loves you. So, let go of that thing that has been dominating your thoughts, give it to Him and rest in His love.
I’ve found many times when I let go of the things I can’t resolve, after I’ve been refreshed He brings a solution to it in a new light, gently and with wisdom. Nearly every time it’s so much easier than I thought, and many times I never had to do anything in the first place. Yet, partnering with Him is so much more fruitful when we are healthy, and He absolutely wants that for us.
I pray as you enter into a place of rest, that your life seems a little brighter, that your world seems a little lighter, but most importantly, His heart feels a little closer. Be blessed in ALL you do, even if it’s a snack and a nap. Until next time!!!