Such a crucial thing in my learning to get better: Rest. In fact, it was the first thing I had to learn. And believe me, I went throwing a tantrum about it. Seriously, who was going to do all those things that I wasn’t doing! That’s my job! “Nobody else is going to do it!” Such harmful thinking… like being masochistic would make everything alright. Me working myself to death, feeling bitter because I was the ‘only one who could do it ALL’, was not helping anyone. My husband allowed me to do what I felt was most crucial because I was animate about doing it MY way; the RIGHT way, of course. My children were worried about not getting everything done and in not doing so, feeling unloved and unappreciated. Why would I want to do that? I felt I HAD to….
Until I couldn’t any longer. I broke.
If God who created the Universe and Everything in it intentionally rested, and then made it a commandment to rest in order to teach us to do so, as well… isn’t resting crucial?
Hebrews 4:1-13 “Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”
And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words:
“On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”
And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”
Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
This God created us to sleep to help us to have the energy we needed to accomplish the things we were meant to accomplish, and yet we continue to try and bypass it because we have so much to do!
“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for he grants sleep to those he loves.” ~Psalms 127:2
As if God’s job wasn’t bigger than ours. And yet, we create things to keep ourselves awake, push through, and keep pushing our limits because rest is a waste of time. Until that’s all you have.
7 years ago, I thought I was SUPER WOMAN and tried to do everything. I even had such Pride about it that I would wonder why other women couldn’t do it all; Homeschool, Clean the entire house every week, Take care of myself, Work Full Time, everything Organized…. I was on a roll and loved that I could accomplish so much.
And then I was bedridden for almost 6 months with excruciating pain that I couldn’t get out of bed without painkillers. I learned to stop being so independent, to accept help, to have compassion for others, and that my pride was a façade.
A year later, something different happened to my body and I was stuck in bed another 6 months. I learned to get well slowly but I still hated to be down.
This time around, with another completely different problem, I’m learning to enjoy rest. I am NOT Super Woman or anything of the sort. I need help and rest just like any other human being.
Pushing through the pain is not a good thing. I had a doctor ask me if I wanted a shot for the pain in my knee; a torn meniscus. I declined because of my over-achieving attitude. Pain tells me when I need to slow down or rest. I can over-do things so easy. These days, going outside of the home for a while makes me feel exhausted and I give myself permission to rest when I get home. Nobody else is going to tell me that I need to rest. I’m learning to listen to my body.
But sitting still for too long can also be exhausting be it at home or a car ride. Rest from sitting still is moving. Rest from a project can keep me from getting overwhelmed. Rest doesn’t have to mean sleep.Rest doesn’t mean I’ll never get back to what I was doing. It’s taking a break; a pause.
Rest also has another meaning for me that I’ve learned over the last couple of years: Trusting in God to take care of the things I cannot. When I’m late because of whatever situation happened as we were trying to get out of the door, speeding is not going to help anyone. In this instance, I revert back to going out of town with my husband on our way to meet a friend. He was getting nervous because we were nearly 2 hours late and we couldn’t get a hold of her to tell her so. I held to the promise in Romans 8:28
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
This scripture doesn’t say that everything is good for those that love Him, but that God will work all things for our good if we are called to His purpose. He will arrange it to all work out. When we arrived at the house of our friend, she was so thankful that we had not arrived any earlier. In fact, she said, “I’m so glad that you did not arrive any earlier. I was stuck at the grocery store praying that you wouldn’t show up before I got home.”
As I have been healing, though, I have a long way to go in my journey, I’ve noticed that Rest is so important in all things. Life is all about balance. Stressing our bodies and minds is only going to cause more problems.
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