Practicing the Art of Rest
By Michelle S. Lazurek
And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” Mark 4:37-39 NASB
I feel like a hamster running on a wheel; constantly going but never getting anywhere. I need to stop, but the daily demands and stresses of life beckon me to keep moving. Weary and physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted, I turned in my bible to have a time of daily devotion (a practice of which I had been sorely lacking). Exodus 20, the story of the Ten Commandments hit me in the face.
Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy.
Apparently I’m not the only one who struggles with rest.
There it was, a command to rest regularly.
So, why do I feel so guilty?
Our bodies were created for rest. God knew this; that’s why “on the seventh day God rested.” Physical rest is necessary because when our physical beings are tired, so are our emotional and spiritual beings. God commands us to rest so we can handle the day- to- day stresses.
Jesus didn’t feel guilty about resting. In fact, he took it whenever he felt it was necessary, even in the midst of a treacherous storm!
Jesus was prepared to calm the storm, not only because He had confidence He had the ability to stop the storm. He also was physically rested, which means His emotional and spiritual state were rested as well, so He could handle whatever came His way.
Here are three ways you can practice the art of rest today:
- Take Time Off - Take some “me time”- take a bath, read a book, or do something that takes your focus off of stress and onto relaxation.
- Observe the Sabbath - Even the hardest workers get at least one day off. Indulge in an activity that helps you recharge. Take a hike, do some shopping, or visit a spa. If expenses are an issue, create your own in- home spa. Buy inexpensive nail polish and face masks and treat yourself to a day of beauty.
- Take a Vacation - Extended time away from work helps our bodies restore cortisol, the chemical our bodies give off to help deal with stress efficiently. When cortisol is depleted, so is our reaction to stress. Visit relatives, book a cabin or spend the week on the beach.
The world wants us to constantly be productive. God commands us to rest. Don’t feel guilty about taking care of the body God has entrusted to you today so you can handle the storms that head your way tomorrow.
Lord, help us to care for our physical, emotional and spiritual lives and rest.
For more encouragement, visit Michelle at michellelazurek.com.
© 2020 by Michelle S. Lazurek. All rights reserved.
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