As the pace of life has been picking back up, I’m having a hard time slowing down.
I tell myself I’ll stop to rest when…
- the work is done
- everyone’s needs are met
- my list is totally checked off
- I meet the deadline
- all my people are content and happy
But this way of thinking ensures only one thing for certain.
I won’t ever stop.
I’ve been thinking about what it will take for me to actually slow down, stop and rest..even if it’s for 10 minutes…and it made me think of my children.
Both of my kids also have a hard time resting sometimes. Since they were teensy-tiny (like my daughter pictured here) or up until now at six years old, my kiddos cant seem to rest when they are distressed, uncomfortable, worked-up or afraid.
And when they can’t sleep, they want to be held.
As I hold them, their heart-rates slow down to match mine, their breathing deepens, and their little bodies relax and let go of all that was disturbing them. They know I won’t let go, so they can. And they fall fast asleep.
I think this is the same reason why I’m having a hard time easing into rest.
I’m holding on to things that make me distressed, worried and afraid. I’m gripping things like my belief that I’m the only one in control, that I must keep everyone I love secure, and my acceptance can only be found in the affection of others.
As I grip these things, I can’t seem to relax into rest.
What if, in order to let go of the things I’m holding so tightly, I also need to be held and remember what’s true.
The truth is that I’m always held but I get so caught up in my own story, and false narratives, that I quickly forget.
As I remember God’s bigger story, I’m reminded that His love is always holding me, and He won’t let go, so I can... even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
In the arms of God’s love, I’m reminded that He holds the world, He keeps me secure and He finds me lovable.
What if rest is more about what we believe than what we do?
If we believe He is holding the world, and holding each of us, we can trust that rest is given as a free gift.
It’s not one to be earned once we’ve completed our list and the world won’t go to shambles if we stop long enough to unwrap it.
Rest is a gift designed by God, from God, for us.
Today, I want to remind you of the promise that I needed to hear.
He holds you in love. He holds the world in love. And He has since the beginning of time.
So God breathed life into Adam and Eve.
When they opened their eyes, the first thing they ever saw was God’s face.
And when God saw them he was like a new dad.
“You look like me,” he said. “You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made!”
God loved them with all of his heart. And they were lovely because He loved them.
And Adam and Eve joined in the song of the stars and the streams and the wind in the trees, the wonderful song of love to the One who made them.
Their hearts were filled with happiness. And nothing ever made them sad or lonely or sick or afraid.
God looked at everything he had made. “Perfect!” he said. And it was. And then He rested.
Genesis 2, the Jesus Storybook Bible
May you remember that He invites us to join in the song of love sung by the stars, the streams and the wind in the trees and be filled with happiness.
His is a song of rest and renewal.
I’ve found a few ways to join in His song of rest but it’s by no means complete. I would LOVE to hear the ways you rest, too. Please tell me in the comments!
- The top of my list are guided Scripture meditations
Some other ways to rest:
- Reading Scripture and journaling
- Walking in silence or with music
- A nap
- Centering prayer (a form of meditation that invites you to read God’s Word and then sit in silence)
- Cooking a delicious meal
- Reading a book for FUN!
- Hiking in the mountains
- Roasting S’mores around our fire-pit
- A coffee date with a friend with no set end-time.
- Lunch on a patio
- Watching the Broncos game with friends
- Swinging in a hammock
Remember, this list is from exhaustive, so please add on in the comment section below!
May you trust God’s love is holding you today even in the moments that you can’t feel it, or see it, or even believe it because Scripture promises that His love will move heavens and earth to be near you…. Always.
Genesis 2 closes with this:
“Whatever happened, whatever it cost him, he would always love them.
And so it was that the wonderful love story began….“
He is near, so don’t be afraid to open your hands and open the gift…even if it’s just for a few moments.