Friday, April 18, 2014


"The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simple-hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you." Psalm 116:5-7

In this season of Easter, the concept of rest has continued to come up for me. Life is busy right now. Between teaching full time, raising support, and traveling to see family/ support raise each month, somedays I'm not sure which way is up. In the midst of this, God has been reminding me of the importance of rest. The importance of taking time to focus on what He is doing in the midst of my busy movements. 

Lately I have wondered what rest even looks like. What does it mean to take time to rest when it doesn't seem like the demands of the day allow for such a luxury. Webster defines rest as, "to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength". 

To recover strength, YES, I need that. 

I am finding that recovering strength in the true sense of the word "strength" comes from the Lord speaking truth to my fears and reminding me of His power. I am also finding that in order to do this, in order to truly hear God in these fearful areas, it takes me being still. It requires me to take time to be quiet and not be afraid of going to those fearful spaces, in order for God to redeem them and replace them with His truth. 

In our culture and world right now, being still is foreign. We pride ourselves on being busy. I am starting to think this is because business and productivity is our way of escaping being quiet. It's our (culture's) way of not having to deal with how we are really feeling and what we are really afraid of, because that's too scary. We would rather fill our waking hours to the brim so we can sleep (too little) and then wake up to do it all over again- all-the-while avoiding what is really going on inside. 

It is easy for me to think rest is something I will do once we get to the slower pace of life in South Sudan, once the support raising is finished and I have completed this year of teaching. However, I think I would be missing the heart of rest. I don't think rest is just for certain seasons of our life. I think to truly live fully and experience life well, we need to rest even in the busy seasons. Even if it just means taking ten minutes to be still. 

I pray that in the midst of this Easter weekend, you will find time to rest. I pray God will start speaking to the scary areas of your life that are difficult for you to go to alone. I pray you will find rest and peace in those places as He walks you through those areas. 

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
                                ~Psalm 103:1-5