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Rest Before You’re Ready - Encouragement for Today - April 10, 2024

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Jess ConnollyApril 10, 2024

Rest Before You’re Ready
JESS CONNOLLY 

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“God called the light ‘day,’ and the darkness he called ‘night.’ And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.” Genesis 1:5 (NIV)

This is for every woman who feels like she has to get it all done before she rests.

Many of us are waiting until we’re “done” or “finished” with our work before we rest. But that moment is not coming until the end of our lives.

We’re convinced that the laundry has to be done, every text has to be answered, every kid nurtured, and every important email responded to. Before we rest, we need to have a grip on the next week, plan the next thing, and finish the dishes.

This is why I’m incredibly grateful for the very first vision of rest, which God cast in Genesis.

Just after God created day and night, literal light and darkness, He did something interesting. Right here, in the foundation of everything, He switched the order: He shifted from the day-night pattern to night and then day.

“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘day,’ and the darkness he called ‘night.’ And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day” (Genesis 1:3-5, NIV).

This is life-changing for those of us who feel we need to earn our rest.

When our intentional and creative God spoke day and night into being, the original sequence was day and then night. But in Genesis 1:5, it’s like He pulled out the Uno reverse card and suddenly referred to the two as “evening, and … morning.”

One possible inference here is that for the humans who inhabit God's creation, night and rest come first. And then work. This isn’t to say we’ve completely misunderstood God’s intention for Sabbath at the end of the week (Genesis 2:2). But it does point to the truth that we can’t work from an empty tank.

From the very beginning, we see God easing our fears and concerns about whether we’ll ever be able to earn our rest. There is no list to finish before we take the gift of rest that’s offered to us by a good and loving Father. There is evening and morning; there is rest and then work. In God’s structuring of the created order of everything, we might say He intentionally sequenced rest to come before any kind of waking activity.

So we break ties with the lie that we can't rest until after our work is completed, and we receive the truth that we won’t be able to work well until we rest.

When we rest, we take God at His word, trusting that striving can cease.
When we rest, we tear down the false idols of people-pleasing, fear and perfectionism.
When we rest before the work is all done, we declare God’s faithfulness louder than our own fruitfulness.

His Kingdom comes when His will is done, and His Kingdom comes when His daughters rest.

God, we thank You for modeling rest for us in creation and in the life of Jesus. We thank You for giving rest to us, Your kids, as a gift of grace and relief. Please help us to accept the gift and stop trying to earn it. Help us to break ties with striving! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

OUR FAVORITE THINGS

To move from chronic exhaustion to the wild peace God’s rest has for soul-tired women like you, read Tired of Being Tired by Jess Connolly. And when you order one copy of Tired of Being Tired, you can get the “Find Your Sabbath” guide for free — to help you strategize a life-giving rhythm of realistic rest every week.

If you’re tired, ready to give up, or need vision for the future, Life School is for you.

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Enter to WIN your very own copy of Tired of Being Tired by Jess Connolly. To celebrate this book, Jess’ publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, April 15, 2024.}

FOR DEEPER STUDY

Psalm 127:2, “It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones” (NLT).

Matthew 11:28-30, “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light’” (NLT).

What tasks make you feel like you can’t rest? What would it look like to rest before you feel ready?

© 2024 by Jess Connolly. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106
www.Proverbs31.org

Originally published Wednesday, 10 April 2024.

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