We live in a day and age where passion for productivity is revered and being busy is indispensable. As a mother of three children ten and under, I often struggle with being on demand almost every hour of the day, going somewhere or doing something. The housework is never finished; the pressures of life are all-consuming; it is difficult to find anything to say about rest and refreshment. However, if I were not immersed in the busyness of life, I would not know what it takes to come up for air and to find serenity amidst the chaos!
I have often wondered why God needed to rest on the seventh day. In Genesis 2:4 we read,
"Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done."
He deliberately stopped working and He rested. Was he tired from all the work he had done? Was he exhausted? I cannot imagine. However, what I see in God's resting after the creation of the world is that we who are created in His image also need to rest. Ephesians 5:1: "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children." We are to be imitators of God and so, not only do we need rest, we need to make rest a priority.
We read in the word that not only did God rest, He also gave rest. In the case of Elijah, God graciously nurtured him through rest and refreshment. He gave him wise counsel and navigated the path as Elijah searched for significance. 1 Kings 19:11-12:
"And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper."
In the cacophony of Jezebels’ intonation, he experienced the work of God in a still small voice.
I am reminded of David when he faced a serious crisis. The Amalekites had invaded the city of Ziklag and, rather than killing the citizens, they took them to make them slaves. Among those that were taken captive were David’s two wives along with the wives and children of his men. David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept until they had no more power to weep. To add to that, David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him.
The people in their time of crisis gave vent to their frustration through acts of hostility against their leader David. However, David knew where to turn in a time of crisis. 1 Samuel 30:6: "But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God." He rested in Him. He did not allow the bitterness of others' spirits to dissuade him. He could have become bitter and gone into deep depression. But he chose to strengthen himself in the Lord.
Where do you go to strengthen yourself? Where do you go when you need rest? Alternatively, what do you do to find that rest? As a wife, mother, sister, and friend we are often just poured out or drained. I like the metaphor of the emotional bank. Just as with any bank account, you cannot withdraw without depositing first. You need to make deposits in order to avoid overdrafts--which, emotionally, are tiredness and feelings of being drained or overwhelmed by the chaos and busyness of our world.
Let me share few ways that have helped me to make deposits of rest and refreshment in my life:
I hope these refresh you!
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