Resting from Restlessness

I had to rest. Not that I didn’t want to but being ill forced me to slow down. Most people have this problem, needing to rest, we have a million things to accomplish and not enough hours in a day to do. So rest is something that is usually forced upon us by our bodies or our minds. It’s when we are pushed to the limit that we are finally still.

We’re doing, working, we’re networking, we’re list making, we’re goal setting, we are doing activities with our kids, we’re cooking, cleaning, maintaining, fixing, changing, striving, chasing, doing, doing…and more doing. It leaves little room for just being. It is all part of life.

We work.
We strive.
We chase.
We plan.
We dream.
We fight.
We pursue.
We save.

Doing. Doing. Doing.

But rest….real rest..and I don’t mean floating on a raft in Cabo or sunbathing on the beach, or reading a book on a hammock. I don’t necessarily even mean laying down and taking a nap either…I mean ..

Rest.

True..rest…the kind that Jesus talks about –

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28-29
That place where we are still, where we pause, quiet, motionless, not restless, the place where we are freed from the chains of striving, free from toil…

Resting inwardly – recovering from the residue of life …

Resting from fears, from the what if’s, from expectations, from the disappointments, from the ‘should have’s’, the ‘need to’s, the didn’t quite measure up, from the not yet, from the hope to accomplish…the need to be…and all of the other ongoing lists of things that keep us from…

True rest.

Rest that heals.
Rest that restores.
Rest that replaces…our ‘more’ with satisfied.
Rest that revives.

Motionless movement – that place where we’re moved more inwardly because we are finally still..

Much of our lives we spending moving and striving and doing and doing some more. We think we are getting somewhere…but are we? Are we really getting there? Maybe somewhat but maybe not as much as we think. I think some of the greatest movement we can ever make that actually matters, that actually changes something is usually when we are in that sort of motionless place of ‘not trying’ to be or do.

I had to do this “not doing” thing. I was actually kind of forced to. Last year I got very ill and as I mentioned in my previous post I felt like I had been hit by a bus everyday of my life so I had to be at rest. I had been knocked over…literally.

“He makes me lay down in green pastures” Psalm 23:2
I don’t really know if my constant going schedule, my terrible immune system, lack of sleep for the past 7 years, IVF, carrying 4 children over a very short span of time, ongoing infections or some combination of all of the above created the havoc in my body but what I do know is that I got a huge message.

I needed Rest.

But it wasn’t so much that I needed rest physically. I mean of course as a mother of 4 kids under the age of 6 a good nights sleep would have done me wonders, but I learned something more during this time of forced slowing down.

It was the thing of having to be okay with who I was…whether or not I was accomplishing someTHING.

I had to be okay with a rest aside from sleeping or relaxing, it was an inward rest. I couldn’t cross things off my list. I was stuck in waiting rooms. I was in this crazy limbo place of needing to do so much and physically incapable at the same time.

I couldn’t …do it all…I wasn’t suppose to.

I was forced to choose what was necessary. I was forced to slow down… a lot. I was forced to spend a lot of time thinking, and reflecting. I was most definitely pushed over and forced to lay down in green pastures, to rest in the presence of God.

“He leads me beside still waters” Psalm 23:2
He took me to a still place where I found myself and compared it with what I thought I needed to be or do and realized I was working to hard.

I was lifting loads that weren’t mine. I had to lay some down and granted some loads are just part of life but I was trying to do it alone all at once.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30
We all do this.
We rest in Him…a bit.
We trust…a bit.
We sit..a bit…but then we squirm out of His lap and try to do it on our own…

My older kids do this too. I’ve noticed the older they get, the more squirmy they get, the more they want to do it on their own. Newborns will lay in your arms without moving for hours. Their eyelids soft, their jaw unclenched, fists relaxed, arms raised up over their head completely surrendered ….breathing in.. …breathing out…resting…trusting.

What a nice place to be, what a nice place to land and yet we can do the same.

We can squirm less, breathe more, rest our arms above our tired heads..and surrender..and rest….

Rest friends…rest.

And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14