Written by Rachel Denison
It’s probably the perfectionist doer in me that resists rest. I have never been prone to sluggishness. And I think my strong aversion to it has caused me to mix up the two. Rest is not sluggishness. It is not sloth. For the longest time (and unfortunately still some to this day) I avoided rest out of thinking it was “of this world.” Craig and I both unfortunately fall into this incorrect theology by simple wiring. We have to work extra hard to say “no,” create boundaries and simply get off our feet.
A recent spell of illness and a seven-day workweek has forced me yet again to my knees in desperation for rest. God wasn’t stupid when he mandated the Sabbath. He wasn’t kidding. And he sure as heck wasn’t lazy!
Nothing has ever pushed me to rest like pregnancy has. Never in my life have I been so debilitated by being on my feet for extended hours, working six days a week or having a fully booked weekend. I have always thrived on being busy. Right now, that is not the case. In the past, whenever I took time for myself I felt guilt. I always had this sinking feeling I was wasting my life or that God wasn’t pleased with me when I had intentional “me time” and put my feet up.
Pregnancy is teaching me a very valuable lesson I will hopefully be able to implement for the rest of my life. Rest is spiritual. Rest is of God, mandated by God, and extremely pleasing to God!
I even look back with a twinge of sadness that I was forced into this and that we didn’t choose it for ourselves the past several years. I am sad at the guilt I took on anytime Craig and I enjoyed a night vegging out with pizza and a movie. Not that we should make a lifestyle out of this vegging by any means, but our wheels aren’t meant to always be spinning, and we will never be as effective as we could be unless we take our God-mandated time to unwind.
I want to encourage you if you’re anything like me to ask God how he feels about you getting time for yourself. I think you’ll be surprised at how for you God truly is. If you’re a chronic doer, how can you make time this week for yourself? What would truly be restful and restorative for you? How can you invite Jesus into the rest we so often misunderstand his opinion on? God wants to show you his delight in such things.
For the next little while Craig and I will be enjoying a much-needed vacation before the baby comes. I cannot promise you’ll receive any blogs from us while we’re away, unless it is restful for us to write them. :) Thanks for reading.
“And he said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” –Mark 6:31