I stretched my body across the bed and yawned myself back to consciousness. Before any thoughts even began to cross my mind, He whispered gently “Come away with me…”
It wasn’t the first time He had tried to coax me out of bed with His gentle leading. In fact, He had called me continually for about a week, but today was different. On this morning, I sensed that a reset was coming, physically, emotionally and spiritually. “Come away with me…” His words had a drawing power and I followed.
I drifted into the studio, flicked on the light switch, turned off my phone and snuggled up in my armchair with a pen and paper by the fire...and listened for the still small voice.
“To rest is to trust...and to trust is to rest.”
I marinated for a few minutes in the depth and wisdom of His statement.
You see, I have a tendency to get so passionate about things that sometimes I get caught up in doing instead of just being. And if I’m really honest, it’s often because I’m impatient. I see the vision God has given me for a particular outreach project or a resource so clearly, that I run with a sense of urgency to build it fast, as if it should have been out yesterday. In my excitement, I get so focused on doing the task, that I miss the blessing of slowing down and enjoying the process. Can you relate?
But underneath all of that busy building, is a layer of rock-solid truth...a firm foundation that God is actually the builder of the house. As such, He wants us to trust Him to build and provide. To enjoy time building with Him, not just for Him.
He wants to spend time in relationship with us, without us feeling rushed, overwhelmed or so hyper-focused that everything else is blurred out, including Him.
In Psalm 127:1-3 the Bible reads:
Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
When we don’t make time to rest enough, when we are driven by an urgency or fear we become B.U.S.Y. - Burdened Under Satan’s Yoke. We become slaves to the yoke of the enemy.
Slaves to self sufficiency and control...”making it work”
What are you a slave to?
Working too hard to accomplish?
The love of money and materialism?
Fear of no provision?
Worry and anxiety about the future?
Depression & hopelessness?
Success and proving ourselves?
The opinions of others?
Guilt and shame from the past?
Rejection or abandonment?
The enemy is so insidious that he takes what God intended for good and twists it into something different. We end up paralysed and exhausted. We wake up feeling overwhelmed, thinking of all the things we need to do, and go to bed feeling like we haven’t done enough...that we aren’t enough.
But that’s not how God operates. God calls us into our full potential, into love, peace, joy and freedom. God led his people out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery with a mighty hand and gave them freedom and rest. A life of blessing and abundance in the promised land. A shadow of what is to come in Heaven.
Jesus has a different yoke for us, a yoke of rest and freedom.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
In other words, run to Me when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and I will give you the rest you need. Let Me teach you to trust Me, watch and learn from Me how to stay at peace. I am gentle and others focused, I am a safe place for you to find shelter and rest. I will show you a new way of working and doing life that will be much easier and lift your burdens.
In choosing to rest, we are trusting God. Trusting His timing, His provision, and His wisdom in knowing that our mind and body need rest and rejuvenation (which actually improves our productivity). In trusting God we can rest in peace without feeling a sense of guilt or urgency about doing the next thing, knowing that God wants to care for us through rest. His wisdom created the incredible design that is the human body and He knows what we need. Rest, is His gift to us.
God was asking me to trust Him with rest. Scheduling flexibility into my 24 hour day with a rule of thirds. 8 hours each for work, rest and play. Cutting back unnecessary tasks and commitments, and ridiculous work hours. Instead, leaving blocks of free time in my schedule throughout the week so there is room for quality time with loved ones and quiet spaces to “just be” and “come away” with Him. Trusting Him to fill any gaps.
Pretty soon my schedule was revolutionised. I started finding myself taking afternoon naps when needed, turning off my phone and disconnecting from social media when needed, delegating certain tasks, not working over the weekend. Verbally handing anything unfinished or needed to God in prayer...and truly letting it go for God to care for me.
I gained the freedom to stop and rest when feeling overwhelmed. To be flexible with unmet deadlines when I can be. To do what I can, diligently but comfortably. To rest and trust God to provide and fill the gaps. To say no. To get out in the fresh air, to get into some art, to go out for coffee with a friend, to enjoy the process and the simple things.
Trust God to take care of things and to refresh your soul and lead and guide you, in His ways. Your calling is for His purpose.
“To rest is to trust...and to trust is to rest.”