REST-FULL or REST-LESS?

And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14 NKJV)

This week I’m celebrating a personal best in my recovery from Post Viral Fatigue 🙂 7 whole days without any morning or afternoon naps!!!

This is the first time in 2 years I have managed to go this long without a little siesta time! I have been able to go 4, maybe 5 days before but then I’ve maybe spent the afternoons of the next 4 or 5 days in bed again. I would feel very frustrated, annoyed that I had to ‘give in’ again to the tiredness. I’m quite competitive so I did not like that chronic fatigue was beating me!

Instead of working as a teacher, I have been learning as a much-loved child. One of my main topics has been REST and it has involved a great deal of practice!

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 honour to his name. (Psalms 23:1-3 NLT)

Psalm 23 has been such a lifeline to me recently and I love this version of v2 – He LETS me rest.

All too often we feel we need to keep going, struggle on, not give in, when He is actually giving us permission to rest. It is not a sign of failure, it is a response to His favour over our lives – The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He is everything we need.

Previously I would have tried to keep going in my own strength instead of strengthening myself in The Lord like David in 1 Sam 30:6. Rather than looking upward to Him, I would have looked inward to myself. As a result I focused on my own weaknesses and put up my own defence barriers rather than remembering The Lord is my strength and my shield (Psalm 28:7 NIV) .

But recently I had a lightbulb moment and realised that days I needed to rest were not a bad thing. After all we know that on the seventh day God rested from all his work. (Genesis 2:2 NIV) and Jesus invited the disciples to “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31 NIV)

It’s not weakness, it’s wisdom.

It’s not an indictment that I’m a failure. Rather it’s an indicator that God, in His grace, LETS me rest so He can renew my strength. When I ‘come away with Him by myself to a quiet place and get some rest’, He refreshes and restores my soul.

Just as my iPad doesn’t work if I don’t re-charge it, so He knows when I need re-charged!!

And when I stop I seem to end up further ahead, it feels more like 2 steps forward, 1 step back. I’ve not ended up further back than when I started and when it’s time to move again, it’s 2 steps forward so I end up even further ahead.

Rest leaves you in a better position for what is next, for what God has ahead for you. It helps to reset you with new strength for the new thing He is doing!

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
(Matthew 11:28 NLT)

PS it’s now 8 days as I spent the afternoon writing this blog!!

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