Resting Isn't As Easy As It Looks

blog rest unhurried life Jul 03, 2019

If you’ve read it, you may remember that the subtitle of An Unhurried Life is “Following Jesus' Rhythms of Work and Rest.” I continue to find that both inviting and challenging. How about you? 

One of the biblical lines I unpacked in the chapter on “Rest” is Hebrews 4:9: “Make every effort to enter his rest.” From one perspective, that sentence sounds like a contradiction between two very different phrases. “Make every effort” and “enter his rest” sound at odds with one another. They really aren’t.

Resting is not nearly as easy as we seem to think. Resting well actually requires intentionality and effort. It is an uphill battle for many of us to truly enter places of deep soul rest. The easy, downhill way coasts in the direction of escaping, avoiding or even numbing. These are the autopilot counterfeits of true rest. Instead of refreshed and restored, these leave us just as tired, even if we didn’t feel tired for a while. 

And remember, though it’s true that many of us need more sleep than we’re getting, we’re especially addressing the reality of rest for our souls. What would it look like to live at rest at the center of who we are? Wouldn’t it be great to live with more peace and less anxiety, more joy and less weariness, more confidence and less fear? 

To take a next step in all this, listen to our latest podcast episode, “How to Plan a Restful Vacation,” we share the story of our recent two-week trip to Italy and Spain. We talk about what we learned about what was restful for us and what wasn’t. Vacations aren’t the only place where we can enter God’s gift of rest, but they’re one place to do it. 

How will you be intentional in this present season of life and work to welcome the gift of God’s rest for your soul? It’s an invitation well worth opening. 

For Reflection: 

  • What has restlessness in your soul looked like these days? 
  • What might it look like, in that very place, for Jesus to invite you to enter his rest? 

Photo by Arthur Poulin on Unsplash