Intentional Living

Learning to Love Rest: A Saving Grace

Sometimes the best way to grow is to learn from our struggles. Rest is one of mine, and that includes sleeping. As a woman in my mid-40s, you would think this wouldn’t be such a struggle, but honestly, I have gotten worse at it over my life. Why?

First, I have failed to recognize rest as a component of humility. Psalm 4:8 states, “In peace, I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Imagine the absolute trust a believer in the ancient world must have had to rest in peace knowing that their heavenly Father would care for them as they slumbered unaware. It takes humility to know that we are ultimately not in control.

Second, Sabbath rest was established for a reason. Our bodies are temples (1 Cor. 6:19-20) and even temples need rest to restore. Just as the land needs rest from the plow, our bodies, and our minds, need rest from the constant demands of the world. And so, God commanded that his followers honor a Sabbath day of rest.

Honestly, I think my biggest trouble has been understanding that rest is much more than sleep and that sleep is directly related to our ability to rest. Rest includes sleeping and napping, but it also includes play, companionship, worship, and generally “ceasing to strive” (Psalm 46:10). When I am doing well and engaging in rest regularly, my sleep is so much better.

American culture does not support rest. Even our “vacations” are heavily pressured as we try to get a lot in during a short amount of time; go as many places as we can; see as many sites as we can. I am so guilty of putting one more thing on my plate, of saying yes to one more thing. As I mentioned in the post on March 24, busyness is a choice and so is rest. Choose to rest.

We would love to hear how you rest. Please share in the comments below.

Contributed by Liz Hunt

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