What does it mean to rest in the Lord? Who knew that this past year I would begin the process of learning to rest in Him.
A Little Personal History
2018 was a tough year for me physically, mentally, and emotionally. It seemed as if all the running and chasing after things and achievements finally caught up with me. I ended the year burned out and exhausted. The pain and fatigue from the Rheumatoid Arthritis were so strong I did not know how I would get through each day. I just put my head down and kept going along. It seems as if I don’t know another way.
We had a tornado hit our property in 2017, and dealing with the aftereffects of a natural disaster is more traumatic than you realize. In 2018, I completed my Ph.D. in Christian Counseling. in addition to helping out my husband with our primary business, Jeweled Steel, I began a counseling practice. Jeweled Steel became a secondary focus as I put most of my energy into my new practice.
A word of caution, being in a state of exhaustion is not any way to start a new venture.
I was counseling and trying to keep my head above water. Eventually, I came to really not like counseling. It seemed as if most of the people coming for counseling had no real interest in changing, they just wanted to talk to someone. I think a good Christian friend would have solved most of their problems. I reached a point in the Fall of 2018 that I could no longer fake having it all together.
We had a small home group over at our house on a Friday evening and the following day I just could barely function. A dear friend of mine was out for the weekend and unfortunately, I was not very nice to her. By the end of that weekend, I had shut out most everyone in my life in a desperate attempt to just get some rest. I was so exhausted I could not even handle the slightest request. I had no desire to talk to anyone. Fortunately, my husband was very supportive and handled the bulk of our communication for both our work and social lives.
During the last part of 2018, I had been crying out to God for relief. Worship had been my pain management technique for months. I did not know how I would carry on. I know that sounds a bit dramatic and it probably was, but I had little physical, emotional, or mental energy to handle much of anything.
Earlier in 2018, David’s sister, Ethel, called me. She told me that she had been praying for me and believed the Lord told her I was to take a year off from any counseling or ministry of any sort. Now, Ethel did not know what I was going through nor had she seen me in several years. I dismissed her word since I could not really see how I could stop for a year.
Learning to Listen
Oh, how I wish I had listened!
Fast forward to the Fall when I crashed and burned. It was at the moment that I remembered her word to me and decided to receive it. I stopped counseling, I dropped out of any groups and I restructured several relationships. This all happened very quickly but most people were very understanding because they had seen me slowly decline. It seems that just putting your head down and trucking through life is not always the right solution.
Recently, I read a book entitled, Invitation to Retreat by Ruth Barton and in her book she talked about a book she read entitled When Your Body Says No by Gabor Mate. As I read both books, I realized my body had been saying no for a very long time and I did not listen. Now I am listening.
Now, keep in mind that I have sought healing in many modalities (You can read about it here). I have been to many healing and deliverance ministries, numerous people have prayed for me and laid hands on me. I believe in healing and restoration because God’s Word says it and Christ died for it. I struggle to reconcile the many healing messages (including my own message) with my personal experience.
Some healing teachings leave you feeling like you are the problem and you are doing something wrong to cause the disease. Others say you are healed and healing will manifest if you just believe enough. Some do not even believe in healing or miracles, they believe that the best we can do is suffer well here on earth and that healing happens when we get to Heaven.
My Bible says, Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. (Matthew 6:10) I could go on but my choice is to sit in His presence and let Him guide me. The Lord knows I have tried many, many things, and listened to many, many people, now it is time for me to listen to Him!
What It Means to Rest in the Lord
Going into 2019, the Lord told me that my word for the year was REST. I loved that idea and was ready to do just that except I do not really know how to rest.
What does it mean to rest in Him? Does it mean sleeping more? Reading more? Doing nothing more? I just could not get my head around the concept of rest so I spent much time in Hebrews 3 and 4 where the writer of Hebrews spends time writing about the Promise of Rest.
As I meditated on these chapters, the Lord showed me His definition of Rest.
R – Relying
E – Earnestly on
S – Supernatural
T – Timing
R – Restore
E – Everything
S – Satan
T – Took.
Rest does not necessarily mean to cease from labor.
It means to:
- Stop the unbelief operating in your life and replace it with a belief in the word of God.
- Apply His Word to your life daily.
- Have the child-like faith that He loves.
- Believe that He will do what He says He will do
I often remind myself that His word is alive, active, and actually applies to me.
Hebrews 4:3 says that we who have believed do enter the rest.
Rest is my goal for 2019. In the process of learning about rest, I learned that I have much unbelief and doubt in my life. I must continually renew my mind to align with Him and put my focus on His Word NOT the news or social media. I must stop getting worked up over the state of the world but rather focus on what He says about it so that I can declare it over our nation and our lives.
Hebrews 4:10 says that For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. I am excited about this season of rest. I am setting aside a lot of time to just be with the Lord in His quiet place. I am choosing to enter His Rest because that is where He is.
My prayer is that I whole-heartedly believe the entire Word of God and that by His might He strengthen my inner man. Jesus conquered death and the grave for us to be victorious in this life! Lord help my unbelief!
Thank you for reading and I strongly encourage you to spend some time reading Hebrews 3 & 4.
- Looking for hope?
- Tired of feeling worn-out and exhausted with life?
- I believe there is hope for you!