Friday, June 29, 2018

Get Some Rest...

Hi friends,

One of the things I have really struggled with over recent years is rest. My personality resists sitting still, doing nothing and being 'non-productive' so resting has been a challenge, to say the least! God has been leading me on a journey to discover the importance of rest over the last year and one of the Scriptures I have been meditating upon is found in Mark 6:31 when Jesus says to his disciples, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."

I wanted to unpack this verse one part at a time and think through what is means for us. I thought I would start at the end and work backwards, as sometimes this helps me to notice things I might not have seen otherwise. The first phrase to ponder is 'get some rest.' This is SO vital to our emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing, and there are simply no shortcuts. Life has a way of draining our energy and strength, whether in the day-to-day 'stuff' of life, or going through dark and difficult times. This is why we need to rest, to recharge, to realise that life is not the sum total of our efforts, and that over everything, God is in control (and He doesn't need us to keep the world spinning!).

The second phrase to dwell on is 'to a quiet place.' This is something that I really need to hear, because let me tell you, I am good at surrounding myself with noise and busyness! But Jesus' invitation to his disciples points to an important key to rest: quiet. There is something about stilling the noise around us and withdrawing into quietness that really helps us to rest. More than just external quietness though, I am learning that the more important quietness is in our minds and hearts. The spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude are so helpful in learning to enter into and practice rest, both internally and externally. This leads to the next important phrase - 'by yourselves.' Now for the introverts among us, this might be easier than for those who love to keep company with others 24/7! But there's something about spending time alone with the Lord that revives and rejuvenates us in ways that are different from spending time resting with others.

This leads to two important little words: 'with me.' This is where the rest invited by Jesus is different from the 'chilling out' advocated by the world. True rest is found when we spend time with Christ, giving Him access to all parts of our lives, and allowing Him to lead us to green pastures. It is in this place of peace in the presence of God that we find true rest, whether that is for minutes, hours or days.

There is just one more word to ponder: 'come.' This is the invitation of Jesus, not just to His disciples 2000 years ago but to His children today. We are invited to come with Him, by ourselves, to a quiet place, and to get some rest.

I used some of the fab printables from this month's Beach Blessings devotional on this page, along with the Bitty Minnie Alpha stamp set. I've also used a couple of little elements from Scene Silhouettes: Trees to add colour to the background.


Can I encourage you to join me on this journey of discovering the power and importance of rest? It's not an easy or quick practice to adopt because so many things in our culture discourage true rest, but God is faithful to lead us if we will accept His invitation.

x Amy x

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