Tag Archives: rest

Homesick


Have you ever been homesick? Or maybe you’ve been traveling or have been out and about, and just wanted to get home. Home is where we relax, unwind, and rid ourselves of our cares. It’s where we dress down and are our most true selves. It’s the place that smells the most familiar to us, and it’s where we truly rest. They even say that home is where the heart is. I think Dorthy had it right, there’s no place like home!

I recently went through “How’s Your Soul?” by Judah Smith. One of his first points is that while we are good at having that place called home for ourselves, our soul is looking for home as well. When God created man, he was loveless until God breathed into his nostrils. Judah says that our soul is really borrowed breath from God, and that it finds its home when we use that breath to praise God. That’s why worshiping God makes our soul feel the way it does. It’s when our soul gets to be home.

Think about David for a minute. He was chased by Saul for years. He lived in caves in one of the most inhospitable places on earth. If you’ve read the Psalms, you know that man was homesick both physically and spiritually. He longed for the courts of the Lord as much as he longed for being home. He even said that it was better to spend one day in God’s house than thousands elsewhere (Psalm 84:10). Why? Because that’s where his soul was at home. Even if he couldn’t physically be home, he wanted to have his soul at home.

I believe all of us are the same way. Our soul longs to be home. I think we misinterpret the signals inside a lot of times, especially if our soul has never been home. In Psalm 90:1, David wrote, “Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!” (NLT) If your soul is homesick, God is where you’ll find the peace you’re looking for. In Him is where you will find your truest self, and that place where you can rest. You don’t have to be homesick anymore. Spend time with God worshipping Him and loving Him today and let your soul be at home.

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Dropping Heavy Burdens


Recently, as I returned from a trip, my son wanted to help take my suitcase to my room. He went to grab my suitcase and computer bag, which were stacked on each other. He struggled for a minute trying to move it. Then, with a loud crashing sound, he fell with it. I walked over, helped him up, and removed the computer bag. My wife told him, “Baby, that’s too heavy for you. Don’t try to do that again. You’ll get hurt.” He was sad, but he walked away from them. He realized that as much as he wanted to move them, they weren’t made for him.

That’s the perfect example of what happens when we try to carry burdens that aren’t ours or that aren’t given to us by God. We struggle with them. We try to walk with them. Then ultimately, we come crashing down. We then try to pick them back up to try again. For many of us, this is the rut we get stuck in. Pick up, struggle, fall, repeat. But God is telling you, “That’s too heavy for you. Don’t try to carry that load. You’ll get hurt.” 

I’m not sure why we try over and over to help God with burdens that aren’t ours. It doesn’t impress Him that we are trying to carry a burden He didn’t give us. Yet we think that if no one else carries it, someone has to, and that someone might as well be you. Let me set you free today. You weren’t meant to carry burdens that God didn’t give you. Set those down, and walk away. It doesn’t matter that no one else is carrying it. If God didn’t give it to you, it’s not yours to carry.

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus told us, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (NLT). If you find yourself tired and weary all the time, give that burden to God, and pick up the burden He has for you. It’s the only way you’ll find rest, contentment, and purpose.

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Take A Break


Do you ever have those days where you are just drained? You know, the days where the alarm clock goes off and you wonder if you even slept. You don’t want five more minutes, you want five more hours! It seems like being tired is more and more the norm for people. As technology improves, we have become more efficient in our work. That efficiency has translated to having to do more work, not less. Our minds consume more information in a shorter amount of time than in any other point in history.

It’s no wonder our bodies and our minds are tired. We are exhausted, but are too afraid to take off work because the amount of work that will pile up while we are out. I know people who take a vacation, but work remotely while on it. The vacation is just really working away from the office. So many of us have put work above our own health and our families. I understand needing to make a living, but don’t forget to make a life while you’re at it. Every once in a while you need a break from all the mental and physical stresses you put on your body.

I’m reminded that Creation was hard work. God put all He had into and still took a break. He took a day to rejuvenate and to rest. He has encouraged us to do the same since then. One of the Ten Commandments was, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” On my trip to Israel, they told us the word Sabbath means to stop. God wants us to stop, breathe, and relax one day a week. He didn’t design our bodies to run 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

When our bodies have had enough, it’s ok to take a break. It’s ok to put down the technology that keeps you connected and the information flowing. I’ve found that when I take a break, the world keeps on moving without me, work still gets done and the world doesn’t fall apart. It’s an humbling reminder that it doesn’t need me in order to keep going. Life will continue after you and I are gone. The world will go on. There’s no use in burning ourselves out. We have to think about the long haul.

When I get tired and worn out, I remember Psalms 73:26. It says, “My mind and my body may grow weak, but God is my strength; He is all I ever need.” It requires me ask why I’m weak. Is it because I’m doing eternal things or because I’m doing temporary things? Either way, I need to take sabbatical and rest every now and then. When I’m recharged I’m able to make a bigger difference at work and for the Kingdom. It’s ok to take a break. In fact, God requires it. Schedule it and make it happen.

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Get Some Rest

  
With Spring Break coming up, the vacation season will begin. Vacations are meant to be a time of rest and recharging, but how many times do we come back from vacation tired? We typically say, “I need a vacation after my vacation.” It’s good to do things on vacation, but not at the expense of giving your body and mind the rest it needs to recharge. There has to be some balance. We weren’t made to go, go, go 24/7/365.

Even God took a day of rest after creating the universe and everything in it. He understands the importance of rest. In fact, He mandated that we take time to rest. It’s in the Ten Commandments after all. Throughout the Bible, we are encouraged to find rest. God knows we are unable to fulfill our calling and our responsibilities when we are burned out.

To help remind us to get some rest, here are some verses in the Bible concerning it.

1. God has told his people, “Here is a place of rest; let the weary rest here. This is a place of quiet rest.” But they would not listen.

Isaiah 28:12 NLT

2. Work six days and rest the seventh. Stop working even during plowing and harvesting.

Exodus 34:21 MSG

3. Now, God has offered us the promise that we may receive that rest he spoke about. Let us take care, then, that none of you will be found to have failed to receive that promised rest.

Hebrews 4:1 GNT

4. Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

Psalm 116:7 AMP

5. The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

Psalms 23:1-3 NLT

6. There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his disciples didn’t even have time to eat. So he said to them, “Let us go off by ourselves to some place where we will be alone and you can rest a while.”

Mark 6:31 GNT

7. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.

Psalms 127:2 NLT

8. Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.

Psalm 37:7 AMP

9. As it is, however, there still remains for God’s people a rest like God’s resting on the seventh day.

Hebrews 4:9 GNT

10. Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

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The Importance Of Rest

I like to jokingly tell people, “I’m the busiest person I know.” My life, like so many people’s is full of coming and going. Home it seems is just the place you go to sleep at night. Between work, family, friends, and ministry life can get so busy that it’s hard to stop and eat. Most days you plow through work, answer emails, solve problems, get on conference calls, head home, go to a family event, or visit with friends or someone in need. Life is rarely quiet, but that’s just what we need.

Early in Jesus’s ministry, He sent the disciples out two by two. He gave the authority to cast out demons, to heal the sick, and to preach the Gospel. They went from town to town doing just that. Before long, Jesus was a household name in that region. People would come from miles around just to hear Him speak or to get healing for themselves or a loved one. Jesus and the disciples were finding it hard to take a break from ministry.

Mark 6:31 records an interaction between Jesus and the disciples that we can learn from today. It says, “Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest a while.’ He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat” (NLT). Sound familiar? Jesus lived a busy life just like you and I do. The difference? He understood the importance of rest.

The Blue Letter Bible defines the rest Jesus was talking about as, “To cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labor in order to recover and collect his strength.” Jesus gives you and me permission to take a break and to rest from our ministry and our busy lives. He knows that at times you need to go to that desolate, technology-free, communication-free place in order to recover and collect your strength. There is much work to do, but you’re going to need your strength to be effective in doing it.   

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Take A Break (Video)

40 But Martha, overly occupied and too busy, was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me to lend a hand and do her part along with me!
41 But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things;
42 There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion, that which is to her advantage, which shall not be taken away from her.

Luke 10:40-42

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Know God, No Worry

I find myself thinking about the future a lot. I can easily get lost going down the rabbit hole of what could happen. Sometimes I get there from trying to figure out my future and all God has planned for me. Sometimes I get there by trying to figure out how everything in the news lines up with the Bible so I can figure out where we are in the end times. Then there are times when I’m pressed with life choices and decisions and I worry so much about making the right decision. I find that those thoughts take up a lot of time and energy.

When that happens, I remind myself of a few things. The first thing comes from holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom. She said, “Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” Profound words like that help put me back into place. They remind me that God has given me the strength to handle today’s problems. They also remind me that when I start to worry over things that haven’t happened, I’m not really trusting God with my future.

That thought leads me to something else she said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” If we know God, we don’t have to know the future because He already does. The more we worry about what may or may not come, the less faith we have in the One who, we have given our lives to. Essentially we are telling God either that we know better than He does or that we don’t trust Him to take care of us. Either way, we are wrong. God is not going to be surprised by what happens tomorrow because it’s already history to Him. He has been preparing you each step of the way to give you the strength you need to face whatever comes your way.

That then reminds me of what Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, “So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings.(GNT)” When we worry, we are directly disobeying Jesus. In the verses before, He reiterates how much each of us are worth to God. He tells us that the Father knows everything we need and that we should trust Him. Worry isn’t what moves God, faith is! Quit trusting in your own wisdom or thought process and trust in the One who knows your future and provides for your every need. When you do, you’ll find the peace your mind needs and the strength your body craves.

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