“A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.”(Proverbs 13:7 MSG)
This scripture is becoming a life verse for me. The Lord has been talking to me about rest for a while now. At one point, I’d fallen into the trap of thinking that busyness equated significance: “If I don’t have enough stuff on my plate, I’m not doing enough. If I’m not doing enough, I’m not enough. I must do something to prove that I’m not just sitting around idly. Literally, any [good] thing will do!
Towards the latter half of 2017, I really started to feel a nudge from the Holy Spirit to pull back and to rest. I was actually a little relieved because not only was I was on the brink of burn out, but I literally longed for rest. I’d never been good at it, but I kept feeling this yearning to learn to live a slow life. However, I also knew that there were a lot of things in my schedule that wouldn’t allow me to rest, but the Holy Spirit slowly started revealing that rest had a lot more to do with my heart than my schedule. Over a few months’ time, I started to learn what rest looked like.
Rest meant intentionally seeking the presence of God, while simultaneously allowing God to define distractions in my life (which actually included my second job, and pulling back on being in so many small groups!).
Rest meant embracing healing while being reminded of my identity. (A plain and simple life is a full life, not a showy, pretentious one that is reaffirmed through pride.)
Rest meant being intentional with my time. It was (& still is) a busy season, but He’s taught the importance of intentionality.
Rest meant allowing the truth to settle in that real rest is only found in the Lord.
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him,” (Psalm 62:5 ESV)
Real rest is only found in the presence of God.
Brady Boyd says is so well, “Recently I heard a pastor in Maryland talking about the difference between amusement and rest. We tend to do one better than the other, and the one we do well is not rest. Case in point: last year my family and I went to Disney World for a full week, and I came back more exhausted than before I left. And I was really tired when we took off. I may have escaped the stressors of daily life, but had I even rested at all? This is what God is hinting at here, that restfulness is tethered to the state of our souls.”
Can I tell you what happens when we learn to truly rest in the Lord?
Our identities are restored to us, and fruitfulness flows from us.
Heidi Baker writes, “I watch those who have learned the mystery of the secret place too. They understand that when they seek more time with God, they will bear far more fruit and will have the grace to keep running, even in the midst of great pressure. They thrive over the years because they have earned to abide in the realm where we are called to live.”
We can use other outlets to relax, but there is only one type of rest that produces fruitfulness. In past experiences when I thought of rest, I typically thought of only my spirit being refreshed, but the truth is that ALL fruitfulness flows from rest. So, when we take time to sit with the Lord (even if we feel like we’re sitting too long, or that we have a list of things to do), fruitfulness flows from it. He gives strategy as to how to make our to-do lists a lot easier and He gives wisdom in how to operate out of areas where we’ve found difficulty. It’s time we realize that we can have a CRAZY schedule in a busy season, yet still be refreshed and thriving enough that we can RUN yet not be worn.
I’m learning to live from that place: Running, but not worn.