Even though I spent all day, every day in bed that week, I wasn’t resting. I was still fighting a battle. It appeared that I was resting, and even to myself, it seemed like all I was doing was resting. It seemed to me like what I really needed was to was this…
And while that is often true, there is something that every person needs, especially someone in chronic illness or with family members in chronic illness: rest.
What a beautiful word.
There are two main things that I seemed to be forgetting, though. First, that rest is so much more than just laying in bed or on the couch. That is just one tiny form of rest. The second is that it is possible to rest even at the same time that life is going a thousand miles an hour. I know that sounds crazy, but it is true, possible, healthy, and even necessary.
A month or two ago, a friend asked how I was, and one of the things I said was that I was tired. Tired of the constant battle of health, tired of the mental struggles that I didn’t know how to face, tired of having to rely on others and feeling like I was a burden to them, tired of sickness, and just plain tired of being tired. She told me that as she was praying for me, one word came to mind: rest. Just, rest. You’re allowed to rest. You need rest. Scripture says:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
Even Jesus rested. And guess what? He rested in the storm. Even when there was a lot going on around Him, both literally and in other ways. In Matthew 8, the story is told of how Jesus was literally sleeping in a boat that was in the middle of a literal storm. In the middle of such a bad storm, that even the experienced fishermen among his disciples were afraid they would sink! If you look at the rest of the story, though, too, you see that it was not only in the midst of a literal storm that Jesus rested, but also in the middle of a lot going on in life around Him. He had just finished speaking with a crowd, and healing people, and was traveling in a boat to a place where He would immediately heal two demon-possessed men. And yet He rested.
Will we, too? Will we be like the disciples in the story, panicking, rebuked for their lack of faith? Or will we, like Jesus, trust in God, come to Him, and allow Him to give us rest for our souls?
I challenge you: take a deep breath and cast yourself on Jesus. Pray. Be still and know that He is God. He is just waiting with open arms. Choose to rest.
Note: The Edna pictures are not mine, I got them off on Pinterest.