Permission to Rest
By Jolee Paden
"This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.'" - Isaiah 30:15
Unprecedented times have put us in places of unexpected separation and isolation. Regular schedules and seasons have been disrupted and many are left wondering, "What now?"
An interrupted routine calls for creativity in connection and planning for the future. Yet, have you taken time to recognize this opportunity to slow down and rest? Have you taken time to align your heart to the Spirit of the Lord? At a time that feels like the Lord has pressed pause on the world of work, how are you choosing to respond?
As athletes and coaches, our instinct pushes us towards performance. How can I maximize my time and productivity? The reality of an empty calendar can feel crippling. If I'm not careful, I begin to fill my schedule with musings to make me feel more accomplished. What if this time is an opportunity to put first things first? We can spend our most quality time with Jesus, sleep to feel rested and spend time with those around us that mean the most.
In Hebrews 3 and 4, the writer talks about "entering into God's rest." The wandering Israelites never entered the rest of God because of their unbelief (Hebrews 3:19). Under the new covenant, we can enter into true rest by trusting Jesus as our Savior.
When we choose to trust Jesus with not just our whole lives, but with each moment and day, we can rest as God himself did. On the seventh day, God didn't need to rest. He wasn't tired! But He chose to rest as a model for His creation. Resting is an act of trust. When we are rested in Christ, we don't have to earn anything by working, but we can work from a place of trust and rest. While physical rest is important, more than anything, you need "heart rest." You need to come into a place that doesn't require striving, emailing, texting or performing. You need to be encouraged and delighted in for who God has made you to be, not just what He has made you to do.
- How are you entering into God's rest daily?
- How are you honoring God with a Sabbath by resting once every seven days?
- What keeps you from being able to rest?
- What steps will you take to empty your day to fill it with Jesus (rather than filling it with the work of the world)?
Hebrews 4:9-11; Psalm 46:10; Zephaniah 3:17
Jesus, thank you for being the fulfillment of our rest. You are set apart as holy and you offer us the peace that surpasses all understanding. Help me to walk in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit when it comes to honoring you with my time, energy and choices.