Rest As Worship
Rest As Worship
Much like my Mom, I rarely have just one devotional I’m working through, rather, I have several; currently I have three:
- Strong Brave Loved by my friend Holley Gerth
- Beholding and Becoming by Ruth Chou Simons
- Embraced by Lysa TerKeurst
All three of them are exquisitely written and always speak something my heart needs to hear. Each author offers her unique viewpoint on various topics, making it fun to mix them up and glean beautiful biblical truths for daily living.
Lately, it doesn’t seem to matter who’s words I’m reading, the common thread I’m finding is REST. I have struggled with embracing rest my entire life. Being raised by two parents who were doers; constantly working, whether it be in the business, at home, or at church, I learned to do the same. I remember as a young girl, my mom would have to regulate my activities because otherwise, I wanted to do everything, all the time. She was my barometer, measuring which activities I could participate in and when, based on how I was doing emotionally and physically. She was always able to see when I needed rest, and equally as good at carving it out for me. The beauty in this, is that my Mom had wisdom and discernment to see what my heart needed more than I did. The downside to this, is that I never learned that same wisdom and discernment, so as an adult, I have struggled to emulate her when trying to decide how many tasks or activities to participate in, making rest a distant afterthought.
I’m finding that the core of my struggles in life come from not guarding my heart. It’s just that simple. From that lacking comes a slew of areas that are affected negatively because I am just now learning what guarding my heart actually looks like. The biggest part of guarding my heart comes from acknowledging that the loving desire to help others is a gift from God and with that gift comes great responsibility to manage and protect it, using discernment when using it and giving to others.
Embracing rest comes when one stops long enough to wrestle no more. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 There are times when we wrestle and times when we rest. Discerning those times is key in order to live a fulfilled, yet peaceful life. I’m learning this first hand! It’s wonderful to want to give of our time, talent and resources, but when we do it for everyone, all the time, we run out of all three and become like a hamster spinning round and round on a wheel, going nowhere and eventually burn out.
I love Ruth Chou Simon’s explanation of productivity and rest when she shows the parallel between us and the Israelite’s under the ruling of Pharaoh. “It’s not productivity in itself that enslaves us. It’s the idolizing of productivity and the freedom we think it promises if we only perform to an unobtainable standard that drives the whip.” “Rest is for the ones who stop running, stop fighting, stop trying to scrounge up enough straw to be pleasing to their master. When we surrender our own brick-making tools and go with Jesus… There’s no building better or higher or faster that will endear you to Him. All He asks is for us to lay down our bricks and rest in Him.”
Rest In Him.
Rest is more than sleeping, or sitting on the couch watching TV or reading a book! Rest is meaningful worship to God, through various avenues with which He provides.
- Going for a walk and enjoying His creation.
- Off-roading with your spouse, enjoying each other’s company, laughing and making memories together.
- Playing fetch with the dogs and snuggling with them on the couch.
- Listening to music and journaling, or coloring.
Rest is simply ceasing to strive, and it looks different for each of us, but the key is that we carve out time to embrace it and in doing so realize there is no guilt in rest. Rest is an act of worship. Once we can embrace the worship in rest, we can find peace in making it an integral part of our daily lives just as God designed it to be.
I’m not sure about you, but I certainly need more rest and less striving in my life!
Praying you find serenity in acknowledging rest as a form of worship to our Savior, today and always.
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