If I'm sincere, rest has been an unnatural concept to me since birth. Other than the occasional naps as a baby, I distinctly remember hating taking naps in childhood. My mom told me I was a crier, and rest was not in my vocabulary or hers (sorry, mom!).
However, outside of napping, I believe that when we surrender authority to Jesus, the type of rest He calls us to pursue through Him is a little bit different than we typically imagine.
When Jesus tells us to "rest" in Scripture, especially related to resting from our worries, concerns, and longings to control, He means to lay those burdens at His feet. His call to rest is less about stagnation and more about trusting Him and His direction for your life.
Matthew 11:28-30 notes, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
In Psalm 127:2, we learn, "It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep."
God's presence is within us, and when we choose to rest in Him instead of seeking meanderings for control, His peace will dwell among us. "And he said, 'My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest'" (Exodus 33:14).
2. When You Trust the Process
While resting in God can be difficult, trusting the process is also something the Lord will use to stretch and shape us.
I love physical exercise—those moments when I finish a good workout and my muscles are crying because I worked them to exertion. But as much as I love stretching the flesh God gave me, I strive to develop the heart to pursue His call within me as well.
"For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come" (1 Timothy 4:8). Just as a trainee has to trust the trainer, won't you trust the source of hope and security to train you in what matters?
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