Missionary Care

Rethinking Rest

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When was the last time you took time to rest, or the last time you truly felt rested?

In a world that glorifies hustle culture and constant productivity, it’s easy to overlook the profound importance of rest. A lot of us struggle with rest. We know we need it, but we’re not always sure how to make time for it, or what rest even looks like for us. Even when we understand the benefits and importance of rest, it can be difficult to shake the nagging voices and messages around us telling us we should be doing more.

We can have a mindset that rest looks a certain way and that it is purely physical, but true soul rest is much more than that. God designed our bodies and minds to need rest. Rest, as we can see from scripture, is important to Him. He created a time for Sabbath, an appointed time of rest. In Exodus 31:14: it says, “Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you.”

Hebrews 4:11 gives us another picture of the importance of rest to God. “Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.” Scripture clearly states that God’s rest is available to us, but we must make an effort to enter His rest.

Creating a time for rest, for Sabbath, is important because it honors God. It is a holy commitment. When we rest, we are honoring God and in that, we allow ourselves to be replenished and restored by His presence. When we don’t make the effort to meet with Him or spend time with Him, our bodies, minds, and hearts are going to have a hard time being at peace and  rest.

Jesus understood the importance of rest. After ministering to people, he would often withdraw from the crowds and sometimes his disciples, to go and rest and replenish so that he would be ready to go and serve the next group of people he would encounter. Jesus modeled rest for us. He modeled what it was like to have time with the Father.

Just like prayer or reading our Bibles, rest is a spiritual discipline. It is a commitment. A posture of rest is something we must actively seek.

So how do we incorporate rest when our lives are already overbooked, and we are overwhelmed?

The first thing we can do is shift our mindset to understand that there are different forms of rest. While our minds may default to thinking rest is only physical, you may also need mental, emotional, and spiritual rest at times.

Physical rest isn’t just about getting more sleep. Physical rest involves a restoration of the body. Going for a walk or getting outside and spending time in nature are great forms of physical rest.

If you are in a season where you find yourself feeling emotionally or mentally drained and desire more mental or emotional rest, try implementing boundaries with technology and social media usage, working in time blocks with tasks, and evaluating what activities or responsibilities can come off of your plate. If you are in a season where you need more spiritual rest, setting aside an intentional time of Sabbath can help.

What type of rest do you need in this current season of your life? Do you need more physical rest and time for your body to be restored? Or do you find yourself needing to create space for mental, emotional, or spiritual rest in your life?

I want to encourage you today to see rest as something holy, and something that enriches and strengthens your relationship with the Lord. Setting aside a time to rest, in whatever form that may be, is a step in acknowledging how much you need Jesus to sustain you.

Just like prayer or reading our Bibles, rest is a spiritual discipline. It is a commitment. A posture of rest is something we must actively seek.

We often view rest as a reward for all the things we have done, but rest is a need. It is a necessity for our well-being and our ability to fulfill our calling and purpose.  Remember, there will always be something that needs to be done. There will always be things on our to-do list that need attention, people that need caring for, and responsibilities that need attending to.

It is up to us to be intentional about laying those things down for a time to rest our minds, hearts, and bodies so that we can better serve God and the people around us.

  • Missionary Care
Amanda Martinsen

Amanda Martinsen serves as the Leadership Development Consultant for WMU North Carolina. Amanda is a writer, speaker, certified biblical life coach, and co-host of the Beyond the Moment podcast. She is a former social worker turned ministry consultant with a love for missions and equipping leaders for Kingdom service. She and her husband Brian have three daughters and live in Sanford, NC.

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