Rest

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Rest

August 1, 2019

Slow down, you move too fast- Paul Simon

Not quite two minutes long, this song, Feelin’ Groovy, resides permanently in my “Favorites” playlist on my iPhone. By nature, I attack life at full throttle. This simple song reminds me to slow down. Only then can I rest, reflect, and refresh my soul.

This need for rest often feels foreign to me, but it is a recurring theme in the Scriptures. Not only did God model rest after creating the world, Jesus taught its importance to His disciples.

In Mark 6, Jesus sent His disciples on their first missionary trip. During this time, they preached a message of repentance, drove out demons, and healed people of various illnesses. (Mark 6:12-13) After such a busy and successful season, I imagine the disciples felt elated, yet exhausted. The following verses describe how Jesus responded to their needs:

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. (Mark 6:30-32 NIV)

Jesus invited His disciples to rest. As he called them, Jesus outlined three critical ingredients for true rest:

  • With Me: True rest brings us closer to Jesus.
  • Quiet Place: True rest requires freedom from distractions.
  • Rest: True rest silences all activity or labor.

For the disciples, this period of rest did not last long. In the very next verses, Mark 6:33-34, we learn people searched for Jesus and His disciples. On seeing them, Jesus showed compassion and began to minister to them. The disciples’ lives became busy once again.

Jesus knew the disciples needed rest in order to recharge their spiritual batteries. The same holds true for us.

I chose the word pause for 2019 because I struggle with this concept of rest. Busy characterizes my life. This summer, normally a time to slow down, continued at the same fast pace. In June, we celebrated our youngest daughter’s wedding and welcomed a new son-in-law to our family.

When not preparing for the wedding, I worked feverishly to complete my book proposal for the She Speaks 2019 conference. Before I knew it, I boarded the plane for North Carolina. The days of the conference flew by in a flurry of lessons, connections, and inspiration.

Like the disciples, a period of rest follows my busy season. This week I am blessed to spend time with my husband and father-in-law in rural Virginia. We even shop in a town appropriately named Rural Retreat.

Living at the edge of a small forest, we often watch the wildlife from my father-in-law’s back porch. Bears, deer, rabbits, birds, raccoons, and skunks all parade before our eyes. My favorites, the doe and her two fawns (pictured above), come often to nibble on the green grass and clover. I watch them as they serenely graze. I know before long they will scamper off to their next adventure.

The same will be true for me. The next school year begins in exactly one week. My life will soon rev up again. Knowing this, I try to soak up all the rest I can. My time here illustrates this simple truth:

When we learn to rest with Him, we become our best for Him.

Wherever you are in your journey, I pray you, too, will find time for true rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rest

August 1, 2019

Large Rest Blog 01

Slow down, you move too fast- Paul Simon

Not quite two minutes long, this song, Feelin’ Groovy, resides permanently in my “Favorites” playlist on my iPhone. By nature, I attack life at full throttle. This simple song reminds me to slow down. Only then can I rest, reflect, and refresh my soul.

This need for rest often feels foreign to me, but it is a recurring theme in the Scriptures. Not only did God model rest after creating the world, Jesus taught its importance to His disciples.

In Mark 6, Jesus sent His disciples on their first missionary trip. During this time, they preached a message of repentance, drove out demons, and healed people of various illnesses. (Mark 6:12-13) After such a busy and successful season, I imagine the disciples felt elated, yet exhausted. The following verses describe how Jesus responded to their needs:

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. (Mark 6:30-32 NIV)

Jesus invited His disciples to rest. As he called them, Jesus outlined three critical ingredients for true rest:

  • With Me: True rest brings us closer to Jesus.
  • Quiet Place: True rest requires freedom from distractions.
  • Rest: True rest silences all activity or labor.

For the disciples, this period of rest did not last long. In the very next verses, Mark 6:33-34, we learn people searched for Jesus and His disciples. On seeing them, Jesus showed compassion and began to minister to them. The disciples’ lives became busy once again.

Jesus knew the disciples needed rest in order to recharge their spiritual batteries. The same holds true for us.

I chose the word pause for 2019 because I struggle with this concept of rest. Busy characterizes my life. This summer, normally a time to slow down, continued at the same fast pace. In June, we celebrated our youngest daughter’s wedding and welcomed a new son-in-law to our family.

When not preparing for the wedding, I worked feverishly to complete my book proposal for the She Speaks 2019 conference. Before I knew it, I boarded the plane for North Carolina. The days of the conference flew by in a flurry of lessons, connections, and inspiration.

Like the disciples, a period of rest follows my busy season. This week I am blessed to spend time with my husband and father-in-law in rural Virginia. We even shop in a town appropriately named Rural Retreat.

Living at the edge of a small forest, we often watch the wildlife from my father-in-law’s back porch. Bears, deer, rabbits, birds, raccoons, and skunks all parade before our eyes. My favorites, the doe and her two fawns (pictured above), come often to nibble on the green grass and clover. I watch them as they serenely graze. I know before long they will scamper off to their next adventure.

The same will be true for me. The next school year begins in exactly one week. My life will soon rev up again. Knowing this, I try to soak up all the rest I can. My time here illustrates this simple truth:

When we learn to rest with Him, we become our best for Him.

Wherever you are in your journey, I pray you, too, will find time for true rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Charla on August 4, 2019 at 11:41 AM

    Truth, friend 🙂 I pray you do refresh before your school year begins anew, and I hope you receive positive feedback on your book proposal. Thank you for pointing us to the fact of God’s design for us to rest.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on August 8, 2019 at 6:16 PM

      Thank you Charla! I always appreciate your encouragement!

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