Greetings from my day before vacation!!! When you read this I will be on the beach for a week of rest with my family I have been eagerly waiting for. Normally on this month of the summer I just cut and paste something to put here in the name of Summer slowdown. Instead, there is something I read that has been resonating with me quite a bit for the last month or so. It basically was a challenge to take a close look at how I rest and why I rest.
Molly, the boys, and I found ourselves watching some strange gameshow the other day called Awake. Each episode begins by keeping the contestants awake for 24 straight hours by having them count quarters the entire time. At the end of this 24 hours, they compete in what would normally be pretty simple tasks that most of them fail miserably at.
We all know that we can not survive without rest and we definitely can not be at our best without good healthy rest built into our life rhythms.
If you are like me, you tend to allow yourself to get into a rhythm of working hard then collapsing when you get to the next opportunity for rest. In many ways we see our rest as merely a time to recover back to zero after wearing ourselves down. Good rest is often something we promise ourselves we will get somewhere down the line.
I am convinced this is not the way God has designed us and it is not the way He wants us to live. We should be working out of our rest instead of resting from our work. While that may seem like just semantics I believe it is a vital to living and ministering as God has designed us.
To work out of our rest means that we have times built into our days, weeks, months, and years to stop and rest. We need to allow these times to stop becoming reactions or rewards for work and let these times become the place we get our strength from to live and minister everyday.
When we are intentional about our rest we open ourselves up to hearing from God as He speaks into our lives. We provide more room in our lives for healing from past issues. We find ourselves experiencing God's grace in a way that strengthens us and prepares us for what lies ahead. When we build a rhythm of holy rest into our lives, we will find ourselves working out of a place of wholeness and strength instead of just living on fumes.
So, I am going to go enjoy the beach now and prayerfully will return rested and strengthened to boldly do the Lord's work.
Grace and Peace,