Thursday, August 31

Rest, Riposo, Descanso, отдых, De rust

At biblestudy this week, we looked at the meaning of rest as we started Hebrews 4. There are many kinds of rest (ie earthly, eternal, physical, spiritual, etc). We were asked to define rest.

My short answer was "ceasing".

My long answer was: "Ceasing from work, effort, responsibility, burdens, activity or movement. Rest can be purposeful or physically, mentally, or emotionally necessary."

We often think of rest (in this life) as taking a breather physically. We run, then we rest. We madly clean up, then we rest. That is true, though I believe it can go much further than that. Because of some certain Circumstances in my life
this year, I have learned how valuable and necessary rest is for one's heart. The Lord has also used a dear friend to teach me more about rest. I thank God that He has given my heart great rest in the last 8 weeks or so. I sense it greatly and it's so refreshing. I think of people who face sorrow and grief, and when that time of sorrow has passed, one's heart may rest again (and sometimes God gives rest in the midst of sorrow). Joy often accompanies the rest that follows sorrow. A verse that often comes to mind when taking a "heart breather" is "Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you." Psalm 116:7. Rest is offered from our God not only in the time to come but also while we are on this earth.

Rest sometimes involves the lack of being burdened. If I have a particular week that feels overly hectic for me, I crave a free evening. And I purposely plan free evenings (or Saturdays) regularly in order to cease from busyness, even if it is good busyness. That is good for where I am in my life now. I know people who are fatigued have learned through their own mistakes and successes what it means to rest, to cease. If you are a naturally busy, on-the-go-person, your first reaction to the idea of rest might also include thoughts of laziness. Stopping, ceasing, taking quiet time to rest may leave you feeling guilty that you ought to be doing something. However, I also can imagine how hard it is to rest when you are a parent or have many responsibilities.

What do you think of when you think of rest? How do you rest?

I wanted to add that rest on the Sabbath is a given for me....and the rest I refer to above is rest that I have to be more purposeful about. Thanks to Noah for his comment which reminded me to clarify that.


Catherine said...

Great post, Alicia. I'm terrible at resting, I always feel lazy if I am not doing something, because I feel like I always have a gazillion things to do. NOT that I have much to show for it at the end of the day (funny how things like "give Hannah six baths in one day" don't show up on my to do list to get crossed off, and yet they take a lot of time!). :) I know, it's bad, and I'm trying to get better at it. I honestly don't know the last time I just sat quietly not doing anything on purpose. If I ever do attempt it, I usually find myself making mental to-do lists after a few seconds and chomping at the bit to do something again!

Although, I do find reading really relaxing and restorative. That's doing something, but maybe that's my way of resting?

Anyway, thanks for the thought provoking post!

Doctor X said...

You have been thinking and blogging about rest while I have been thinking and blogging about work. We have God resting on the 7th day in Genesis 2:2-3. In the Old Testament the Israelites worked 6 days and rested on the 7th. They rested to the point where they could not even gather firewood or cook meals. Leviticus 23:3 calls for the Sabbath rest.

The LEAST restful time for me is Sunday morning and that is when my heart needs to rest the most. To ready myself to worship our awesome God! The heart needs rest just as the body does. Our body can’t heal when we are busy running around and being active and the same it true of the heart. I’ll be praying for you that you get the rest and healing you need.

Take care

Karen Reyburn said...

Hi my dear friend

I would go much further and say that resting is actually the deepest sense of 'being' that we can know. We often see it as 'ceasing', but that is because we are filling up our 'being' with STUFF - things to do, places to go, people to see - and very little of it deals with the heart issues, the deep things of life. When you rest - when I rest - I get to a place where I am being myself to the depths of who I am, and I connect with the mighty God who for a time I had forgotten the depths of who HE is. My resting might include reading, or sitting looking out at a beautiful scene, or making a card, or writing an email, or reading the Bible, or singing a song, or dancing in the middle of autumn leaves. But the heart of it involves bringing to life the me that has been resting deep below the surface, and being refreshed and heartened in that.

May God continue to help you as you rest.


Alicia said...

Verra well said, Karen.

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