This article (Rest by Eliza Jane Huie) originally appeared on the Biblical Counseling Coalition website and is used with permission.
If sleep were a spiritual gift, then my husband has it. Not only does he have the amazing ability to take cat naps just about anywhere he chooses, but I have never known him to lose sleep over anything. If he needs rest, he simply finds a place he can lay down or sit, closes his eyes, and within a few minutes he is out. His slow breathing (and sometimes snores) indicates that he is not just resting his eyes. He is asleep. Everything else will wait while he rests. I admit there I times I really envy him.
I am the total opposite. Not only do I need all the right conditions to go to sleep (peaceful surroundings, darkness, and a quiet mind), but I need all those conditions to stay there.
It is not only sleep that does not come easy to me, but rest is also hard. The demands of the many hats I wear can take over my life and I am continually busy with the next thing and thinking about the next thing after that.
As I sat one morning feeling familiarly overwhelmed and thinking of all I had to do that morning, that day, and that week, I wondered what I would say to myself if I had to counsel myself on this issue of resting in God. So, this blog post is written to me, knowing all I know about myself. You can listen in, but I write to me.
You have a ministry and calling. You are a wife and helper, a mother, a teacher, and a friend. You are a part of the body of Christ and you need to serve and worship. You are tasked with the duties of planning, organizing, and leading in multiple areas of life. You are busy. You have many commands that the Lord has given to you and you desire to fulfill them. But he has also called you to rest.
Resting is trusting God. It is trusting God with all the demands and busyness. It is agreeing with God that you have limits. Rest says everything is not in your hands or in your control. Allowing yourself to live within your limits allows you to see God work despite your efforts but it also causes yourself to see that He will ultimately take care of all that He has given you. Rest trusts.
Resting is imaging God. When you rest you imitate God. Despite how life may feel, you are not busier than God. He will always have more to do than you do. Even at the very beginning, at the very unfolding of history we see a very active God setting aside time from his creative work and resting (Genesis 1-2). Rest imitates God.
Resting is obeying God. The demands of life are loud. They fight for attention every moment of the day. So much so that they can drown out the commands of our Lord. The reality that God has told you to rest can easily be forgotten. Obedience may feel more important to you when you are doing lots of work but setting it aside and remembering that he has called you to rest is also obeying Him. He has called you to rest. Rest is obedience.
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God, he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 65:2).
Just like sleep, rest does not come easy for me. I never seem to have the right conditions. At times it feels like I don’t have the ability to simply rest. At other times I fight against it. But as I sit and counsel myself I agree that this is exactly what I must embrace as I juggle all the busyness of life. As you have listened to my own personal counseling session perhaps you too can relate?
Lord help me to trust you, to be more like you, to obey you, to rest.