Recovering Strength

Rest. What a funny concept. It is something we all desire more of and yet put off until we are exhausted and are in dire need of it. We are so busy all the time and I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you of the things that you have on your to-do list. Not only do we have busy schedules, but when we do have an hour or an afternoon free, we want to fill our mind with something, well... mindless. We are so tired of using our brains after working on projects or studying that we just want to be entertained without having to use our mental energy. I don’t know about you, but recently that hasn’t been very fulfilling for me and more often than not, I feel maybe even more restless than I did before I started “resting”.

So what does it mean to rest? Well, the definition of rest is to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength. I’m going to focus in on the last part of that definition, to recover strength. Our strength is meant to come from God. On our own, we can do nothing. I think sometimes we become exhausted because we are holding tightly to control and not trusting that God will show up. I think we can become exhausted because when we search for rest, we search for it in places where God doesn’t have the opportunity to speak.
 
God speaks to Joseph three times while he is sleeping and when he awakens, Joseph is able to respond to God’s will. Haha I am not in any way saying that the only way for God to speak with you is through sleep but I think it is definitely easier to discern what God is saying to you when you are rested and have the strength to respond. (Matthew 1:20-21, 24 and Matthew 2:13-14, 19-21)

Not only is it important to rest, but to know who you are resting in. Joseph was able to trust God because he knew Him. He knew God’s character and had a relationship with Him. Just like with any relationship, the more time you spend with someone, the better you understand who they are, how they think about things, the more easily you can trust that they have your best interests at heart and share what’s going on and ask for their help.
 
Resting on the Sabbath looks different for everyone. For me, I love having a slow morning. Not having any pressure to go somewhere or do something, just taking my time. Sunday mornings are kind of like my date time with God. I love waking up and embracing the quietness. In this quiet, I find it easy to talk to Him. As I’m doing my morning routine, my mind will wander around to what my week looks like or what I’m stressed or excited about or random things. I think this is the place where I get to share all of these things with God. I get to take these things to Him and listen for His response.

Another way that I think that we can find true rest is in being amongst God’s creation and seeing that it is good. I think that this is a sweet way to honor God while recovering our strength. Just as He rested on the seventh day to look upon His creation, so can we. All of us can find joy and renewal in what God has created. Whether that be nature or other human beings, we can seek God moving in all of His creation and find peace in the moment.
 
Like I said, rest looks different for everyone. So I want to challenge you to figure out what recovers your strength. To form a habit of sharing with God and learning to trust in Him, letting go of your control. To find out where you can just let out a breath and inhale His goodness and I pray that in resting, our strength is restored and we have the ability to respond when He calls us.

Author | Natalie Mata

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