Saturday, February 24, 2018

He Said, "You will find Rest for Your Souls"

"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning: great is Your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion', says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in Him. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord." -Lamentations 3:21-26

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in Whom I trust." -Psalm 91:1-2

"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." -Matthew 11:28-29


Here it is, almost March, and this is my New Year's Resolution post. But that's okay, because I didn't make resolutions this year anyway.

I have a love/hate relationship with resolutions. See, as a list-maker/follower, I love to make them and feel like I should love following them. But I do better with short term lists... I like to just write down what needs done on a "master list" and then I pick things off of that to put on my daily to-do list. Resolutions are hard for me, because it's hard sometimes to see even a day ahead. In fact, you can't at all; you just have a general idea of how it might go, given the past, if the Lord doesn't have big plans you don't know about. A year out is too broad a time to make plans for that are definitely going to be changed. I always ended up discouraged as I looked at my uncompleted resolution list, which made me discouraged making out my new one... or made me throw it in a drawer and decide that this year, I wouldn't have goals. 

This New Year's season, I wrestled with those facts up until I woke up and lay thinking in bed about this problem on New Year's Day -which less than stellar "growth-bringing" decision did I want to make this year to set me up for failure (not kidding, that's about what I asked myself)? I have a lot that I want to do in this year... but they are all things that I cannot guarantee, because they are in God's control. Those couldn't be resolutions, they would almost surely be broken in some way or other, because His ways are not my ways, and there are a LOT of variables hanging around the three biggest hopes I have for this year. I just couldn't plan them. And to plan anything smaller just seemed to mock the word "resolutions". But I didn't want to give up moving forward.

And then I began thinking about the concept of rest. And I realized, I could make this word my goal for the year. Because if I did everything to fit into this word, I would be doing all that I wanted to be doing, without it being about a checklist, which was exactly what I was wanting. 

Because the word "Rest" encompasses so much.

On the one hand, if I am accomplishing things that need done, instead of avoiding them and dreading them, it brings that rest that comes with things being done well. And accomplishing the things that need done frees you up to be able to take times of needed refreshment without guilt, which is many times more restful than a "break" after simply spinning your wheels all day. 

With that in mind, I have been trying to do what is right in front of me, to do the things that usually I only think about even if it's something I would usually be uncomfortable with, and push myself a little harder to get more done than I think it's possible when I look at my to-do list at 5:30 and would usually want to give up. I'm also doing things like reading books and writing, rather than browsing social media as often as I might be tempted to, as real refreshing times of physical rest.

But more importantly, I want to rest in the Lord.

I want to rest in His plan for my year. I want to rest knowing that He knows what is best for me. I want to rest in the knowledge that He is in control... I don't have to be all things to all people, because I can't. That's His role. I am just someone He uses to bring about His purposes, if I am willing to rest in His guidance and do the things He places before me to do. I want to rest in the promises of His word, and draw closer to Him. 

And really, that's what it's all about; and also the only growth that truly matters for any of us; to grow in Christ, made into His image and having our spirit aligned with His. 

And with that in mind, I have been trying to steep myself in the words and works of God. I have been setting more time aside to read the Bible, and been making the effort to fit extra bible studies into my week. I've been trying to read more books to spur me on in good works, and listen to more sermons expounding the Word of the Lord, listening to more "hymns and spiritual songs", and spending more time in prayer, because while I am becoming more willing to admit that I cannot be of any use to others without Christ's work in me and those around me, I am also realizing what a privilege it is that we can petition the God of the Universe and bring every burden before Him.

And it's amazing... here I thought that I chose this word for my year. But as the past couple of months have rolled by, I have realized two things: One... The word and concept of rest has been brought to my attention, and has been placed throughout the books and studies I have picked up more in the past two months than in the past two years. I totally believe that God knew this was what I needed to learn this year. And two, I also believe that He placed the desire to learn that lesson on my heart at the perfect time. Any earlier and I may have burnt out before I had a chance to see it's value. I needed to be able to search it out a bit before I could feel it's true value and strive to keep it at the front of my mind. But in the past two weeks, I have realized that it couldn't have been given any later, either. Because if it had, I wouldn't have the lessons I had learned through it for the paths He has me walking right now. Paths that are helping me realize my need to rest in Christ, and yet also the reason that I have to be able to rest in Christ. 

I have a feeling I'll talk quite a bit about "Rest" on my blog in the next months. The bible study Mama gave me for Christmas focuses on rest for the first section -another thing that God worked out, because neither of us were thinking about this at that time! It gave me such a smile to realize that when I first opened the book to study. There are a lot of thoughts within it that I want to be able to share at some point. And I am learning new thoughts about rest frequently. The first was that rest and trust go hand in hand... you cannot, will not, have one without the other. You cannot rest in the Lord if you are not trusting Him. Another thing that was brought to my attention lately was that surrender goes alone with rest... because the ultimate test of resting in the Lord is if you are able to surrender your "good things" for His "best things", no matter the cost. 

Ultimately, it's about giving God His place of authority in our lives, instead of having the pride and foolishness to think that our worry or work can change one thing in our favor. It is only as we Rest in Him, humbly admitting that He is Lord, that we can truly and faithfully serve Him with quiet joy. 

And if the Lord can use this journey to bless any of you as I share my heart, I give Him the praise, for I know my own inability to do anything of worth without His grace. Let us serve Him together <3. 

Rejoicing in Hope,


  1. Mm, those are such good passages. And it was really encouraging to read what you've been learning/experiencing about rest! It's such a far reaching topic - have you linked it to God's plan for the Sabbath? I find that fascinating. :) Thanks for sharing, and may God bless you on this journey! xx

    1. Thank you! I know it is linked to His plan for us to have that balance of rest and work, but I haven't explored that part of it exactly... yet! I know that many times as I have been making the small changes I have done, I have thought, God certainly always knows what He is doing, though, as I think of that! Do you have thoughts on that you would like to share :D?! You are more than welcome, it was my pleasure! Blessings to you in Him!

  2. This is so true! I need to focus on rest a little more because honestly life get's so busy and so hectic, taking control of emotions and thoughts. Resting is the Lord is both refreshing and recharging.
    Keep fighting the good fight!

    1. Yes, that is the problem! It destroys our emotions, which take over our thoughts, which crowd out the things of the Lord, which makes us lose sight of our relationship with Him and sends us further down... But then to come back to Him... you are right, it IS refreshing and recharging, and that is how He means it to be, if we will just trust Him! Thank you for reading <3!
      And you, Kara! May the Lord bless you as you seek and abide in Him!

  3. Thanks for sharing what you've been learning about rest. Enjoyed this post, (and the last one too.) I am trying to rest more in God as well, but many times when I try, people start asking me to do things and all of a sudden my life is packed. I am trying to find how to balance...obviously I can't say yes to everything. :)

    1. Aw, thank you Ashley! Part of that journey toward Rest has somehow been being more honest/vulnerable/open, although I didn't plan that or expect it... the last one especially was raw, but I felt He could use it, and so I'm glad you enjoyed it <3.

      This is true, and I know that He will help you find that balance, if you seek Him and surrender your plans to His! I also think it comes down to priorities. I think if we say no to somethings, and yet aren't saying yes to the right things at the same time, that it's just as crushing to our spirits as when we say yes (or no!) to everything without thought. I'm working on learning *what* it is right to say yes to, for me :).


"May the Lord, the God of your fathers... bless you!" Deuteronomy 1:11