When our daughter was young and I spent hours each week in school pickup lines, I often felt I had plenty of time to rest. To pray and seek Jesus. But then she grew older, I grew busier, and year by year, it felt increasingly harder to slow down and prioritize my relationship with Jesus.
I’ve since discovered, however, when my schedule overwhelms me and I don’t have a moment to spare, that’s when I most need to hit pause.
That’s when I most need to regularly connect with Jesus. In the midst of a particularly busy period, my guest’s post today really resonated.
For When We Think We’re Too Busy to Rest
No sooner had I sent my next book manuscript to the publisher, when I began to ponder my next project. Everyone else seemed to ask me that as well, “What will you work on next?”
I habitually pushed forward, without taking enough time to relish and celebrate the victories along the way.
During a women’s retreat the following weekend, no less than a dozen women confirmed the direction I sensed God was leading me: into a season of rest.
REST? Why would I want to do that ? I had things to write and talks to give. God knows my personality: I’d rather have three urgent projects going with barn-burning deadlines than be told to rest.
But God always knows best.
In the month after that retreat when I felt like He was leading me into a season of rest, I fulfilled my speaking commitments and visited my college son. Upon returning home, my doctor called to tell me what no one likes nor wants to hear: “I’m sorry to tell you this, but you have cancer.”
Surgery was scheduled and treatment began. The physical toll was great, but God had prepared me for this time by clearing my calendar.
We become so consumed with accomplishing tasks, that we forget God can do more during times of rest than in our most “productive times.”
I used to think rest was a luxury. Now I realize it is crucial for warfare.
Rest has its benefits:
1. In rest, God provides safety.
“But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster” (1 Kings 5:4 ESV).
2. Rest allows our bodies to heal. God desires healing for us.
3. Rest allows God the opportunity to teach us His ways, and as He teaches us, we learn to rest.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV).
4. We were created in God’s image, and when we rest, we align ourselves with the very nature of God.
“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation” (Genesis 2:2-3 ESV).
5. Rest is a gift from God. We can rest in His presence.
“And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14 ESV).
Taking time to rest requires trust in the One who commanded us to do so.
Jesus never hurried, and he modeled for us a lifestyle that included rest. If it was good enough for Jesus, shouldn’t it be so for us also?
Let’s talk about this!
What makes rest a challenge for you? What benefits have you seen from following God’s command to rest? Share your thoughts, insights, and stories with us in the questions below, because we can all learn from and encourage one another.
Get to know Michelle!
Dr. Michelle Bengtson (Ph.D., Nova Southeastern University) is an international speaker, and the author of the bestselling, award winning “Hope Prevails: Insights From A Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” and the newly released companion “Hope Prevails Bible Study.” She has been a neuropsychologist for more than twenty years, and is now in private practice in Southlake, Texas where she evaluates, diagnoses, and treats children and adults with a variety of medical and mental health disorders. This doctor knows pain and despair firsthand and combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to address her patients’ issues, both for those who suffer and the ones who care for them.
Using sound practical tools, she affirms worth and encourages faith. Dr. Bengtson offers hope as a key to unlock joy and relief—even in the middle of the storm. She and her husband of thirty years have two teenage sons and reside in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. She blogs regularly on her site: DrMichelleBengtson.com
For more hope, stay connected with her at:
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
As a board-certified neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Bengtson believed she was prescribing the most effective treatments for her clients who struggled with depression. But when she experienced debilitating depression herself, she found that the treatments she had recommended weren’t helping her the way she expected. She was determined to find out what was missing.
With the deep compassion of someone who has been there, Dr. Bengtson blends her training and that vital missing piece she discovered to offer you a hope grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps you understand what depression is, how it affects you spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, depression cannot do. The result is an approach that offers not just the management of symptoms but the hope of true release.
Order Hope Prevails HERE.
Before you go, I have more fun news! For those of you working through the Becoming His Princess study, you can now watch the video segment for week one HERE. We should have week two’s video segment available by the 23rd.