Read Exodus 20:8-11
When I was younger, you could say I didn’t respect the ten commandments.
It wasn’t because I didn’t care, but because I didn’t understand them. I thought they were old rules for another time and didn’t pertain to me.
Fast forward to the age of 23 and I learned the command to rest all too well.
I was 2 years into being a fully surrendered follower of Jesus and in Bible school. I was one of the busiest people you would have ever come in contact with. Not only was I in an intense Bible school program but on my off-school days I worked, I was also a youth group leader, Bible study leader and had a very busy social life. I was someone who HAD to keep a calendar because I never said no.
One of the running jokes in Bible school was that I was going to become the church’s assistant because of all of the things I was able to keep together and still have time to sleep. I didn’t understand the meaning of rest and only did it when I had no other plans.
However, it came with a cost.
A year after my Bible school ended, I was working in a full-time job and still trying to maintain a busy lifestyle. Through many conversations with mentors and friends that I trusted, I learned that this life with no rest cost me some valuable relationships as well as the truth that I wasn’t honoring the Lord with my time.
Now, what I was doing was honoring and glorifying Jesus; however, it wasn’t His best for me and that, in turn, wasn’t a pleasing sacrifice. I learned that, through rest, it wasn’t only about “taking a break” but about reflecting in gratitude. It was about spending some time quiet before Him and just BEING rather than DOING.
I learned that, if I can’t just BE for one day, then I won’t be able to DO to the best of my ability the rest of the days.
So much of our culture is “go go go”. We never stop, we never take a break, and we fill our time with things that keep our brains and bodies moving without a second thought. But have you ever stopped to think, “What happens if I just stay still? If I don’t go out or spend my time doing this or that, but rather what will happen if I stay home and just exist within my relationship with the Lord?!”
It’s a very “out there” notion, but a notion to consider all the same.
As now, a mom of two, I can attest, it is a different season of rest. I walk with Jesus hand in hand as I take care of our newborn; that is my rest. I walk with Jesus hand-in-hand as I watch our four-year-old run around outside; that is my rest. I walk with Jesus hand-in-hand as I clean our house or fold the laundry; that is rest.
My rest looks very different than it did before we had kids, but my heart’s motive is to just BE with Jesus and not DO!
I pray that over you.