Rest for All Seasons

How many of you struggle with finding a rhythm over the holidays? Because I sure do!!!

Fall semester is like running a race that never stops. We go go go until we’re just about entirely depleted am I right? Now don’t get me wrong, I love coming home, but sometimes I get so caught up in trying to find new rhythms over break I begin to fight a battle with rest and the many to-do lists that come with this time of year. But, I was reminded this morning there’s a holiness that rests and finds its home in the solitude and the multitude. The more I seek Jesus in this place, the more I am reminded that He knew the art of both so well. He knew how to step into His Father’s presence alone in the silence of the night and how to keep in step with the calling of His spirit during the day. He didn’t fight it all like a battle. He knew that the going in and the going out had to work together. It’s such a blessing of grace, isn’t it? That even the King of our hearts knew there was a rhythm to walk to when it came to life. The holidays bring a beautiful mix of festive chaos and sweet quiet, so I find myself asking how do we find true rest in Him when both collide each day?

We’ve talked a lot about rest on the blog this week - that it means to cease striving, to be still, and to quiet our being in the presence of God. Well, a huge part of rest is solitude. Solitude is slipping away to be alone in a place only inhabited by you and God. There, we can strip away the noise, the to-do lists, the many and the much, and spend time breaking off the hurry and just sit with the Lord. It’s here in the solitude that our breath finds its pace again, our dreams awaken, our eyes are clearer. The solitude is such a sacred place - it’s like standing on holy ground. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” It’s in the stillness that we know, that we know, that we know He is God and He reminds us that we are covered in His love and grace from head to toe. Solitude is so important for our minds, our hearts, our souls, our strength, and it’s vital to the running. Every influence is built from our intimacy with Jesus in the solitude. But I’m beginning to notice our rest doesn’t stop with the solitude. It’s a huge part of it, but to be honest, there is a huge difference between resting and resting in God. So we can rest in God in the solitude, but our rest in Him does not have to stop there. Rest in God is so much better than what we can even imagine. We cannot be content to stay in seclusion with Jesus. We must choose to partner with Him and learn how to walk each day as the Spirit leads. Which leads us to the holiness and rest of the multitude. Yes, you read that right. There is holiness and rest in the multitudes!!!

There tends to be many a multitude of things and people pressing in on us during this season. Sometimes we embrace it and love it and other times it can feel like what we have to give just comes up entirely empty against the masses surrounding us. Whether it’s an uncle asking at the dinner table if we have any interviews lined up or we simply don’t have the money for gifts this year, there’s plenty of chaos that overwhelms us and inconveniences us. And it’s in those moments I tend to grapple the most with, how does rest fit in here? It fits well when I have quiet and I am alone. I can see the miracle so easily when it’s just the solitude. So what does resting in Him really mean in the multitude?

A multitude is a large gathering - typically of people - but it can be a multitude of anything. Worries. Fears. Hurts. Habits. Joy. Peace. Grace. You name it. When I think of that word though, I can’t help but recall Jesus’ ministry. Much of His life was spent amongst the multitudes, the crowds of people who would gather to listen and to receive the miracle. I’m reading through the new testament right now and I just arrived to Luke and have been reading about so many wonders of Jesus from His birth to His healing of lepers, and I am astounded at the pattern of His life.
 
The multitude to the miracle to the solitude and to the multitude to the miracle to the solitude.
 
Don’t you see it? Jesus rested in His Father’s presence. His holy presence does not depart from us ever. There is a time to cling to His resurrected shoulders in the presence of just one and there is a time to square our own and cling to heaven’s cause among the many. But each time, we can trust knowing our miracle and our rest comes from His presence which is found in both circumstances of our lives. The solitude awakens us to new breath and to life where the multitude awakens us to the strength and power, and love of our God in ways we never knew imaginable. There is a renewal of strength in both. There is a miracle in both. Each step we take and each breath we breathe is in tandem with the Living God when we partner with His Spirit. There is holiness in the multitude. Priscilla Shirer once said, “from there we get to see what God does when we take our little bit and place it in the hands of our multiplying God.”

I have two things I want to challenge you with this holiday season when it comes to resting in God:

  1. Embrace the solitude. Get Alone with God. Just you and Him. Let dreams awake. Let your breath come back to its original intent. Exhale. Release. Surrender. Soak Him in.
  2. Look for the miracle in the multitude. Don’t exclude God from the chaos and the pressing of what comes with the holiday season. Lean into Him even more than the chaos is leaning into you. Watch as the knowings that come from being still in the solitude breathe miracle life on the multitude.

Jesus, thank you for the holiness of rest in you. You are not limited to stolen moments of silence and chaotic crowds of need. Meet us where we are in the solitude and in the multitude and all the in-betweens. Pour out your spirit over us and awaken our breath again. Bring us to life and rest in ways we never thought possible. We love you, Emmanuel, our God forever with us.
 
Author | Emily Goldin

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