Learn to unwind whenever possible,
resting in the Presence of your Shepherd.
This electronic age keeps My children “wired” much of the time,
too tense to find Me in the midst of their moments.
Jesus Calling, October 24
Hurry is not God’s best for our lives.
Family and work responsibilities fill our days, leaving little time for recovery from stress and overwhelm. We struggle and strive to stay one step ahead of our never-ending list of things to do. All the while, we are withering under the pressure of career goals, relationship demands, and personal obligations. Staying busy is easy. Staying well-rested—now, there’s a challenge.
Our society has cultivated a mindset of resting after completing work. The problem is the work is never done. There will always be more to do on your to-do list. There will always be more work that needs your attention. If you only rest when the work is done, you will never feel you have permission to rest.
Rest is the foundation
This is not God’s plan for rest. It is the opposite of your divine design. In Genesis, God created man during the sixth day of the creation story, and on the seventh day God rested. Man’s first full day began as a day of rest. Rest was the foundation, not the reward. Rest was the place from which all work would start. God’s rhythm of living includes working from a place of rest. It begins in communion with Him. And after spending time with Him, we leave empowered to do the work we are called to do.
If you seek to serve your family and others, it’s critical you learn how to rest well—not merely to take a nap or to break away for a vacation, but to cultivate a deep abiding rest where you feel God drawing you near and you can lay down your to-do list. It’s the ability to step away from your duties for a time, while you focus not on the calling but the One who called you.
Just as work is valuable, rest has great value. It is by definition restorative. What needs restoring in your life? If you are unsure of the area of your life most in need of restoration, visit RestQuiz.com to find your personal rest deficit. Once you know what type of rest you are missing in your life, you can begin to get more rest in the areas you need it most.
How to work from a place of rest?
Embrace Sabbath as the beginning of your work week.
Sabbath is not how you end your week; it is how you prepare for your week. Seek first to enter into the rest of God. If your position requires you to work on Sunday, choose Friday or Saturday as your day to rest. Purposely slow down and intentionally make room for God to begin the work of restoring those areas of your life that stress has broken down.
Learn the value of sleep and develop a relaxing bedtime regimen.
Over 40 million people suffer from sleep deprivation and insomnia. Those who work in an emotionally stressful situation are even more prone to have difficulty turning off their mind and relaxing when it’s time to go to bed. Rest is the bridge that allows you to transition from your busy day to a peaceful night’s sleep. Turn off the electronics, release your anxious thoughts through journaling, or renew your mind in scripture. Determine a relaxing sequence of events to help you experience sweet sleep.
See joy as the compass pointing you in the direction of God’s best.
Life is not supposed to drain you to the point of extinguishing your spirit. God’s desire is for you to prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers. Joy is how He strengthens you to thrive, personally and professionally. Work without the benefit of rest becomes void of pleasure. Rest allows an opportunity for joy to show the way back to God’s best for your life.
Treasure and seek out time with life-giving individuals.
The people you are around during the day have a direct effect on how you feel. As a person of faith, you will have opportunities to be a blessing to those who need a shoulder to cry on, an understanding ear, or a prayer uplifted. Each of these encounters will pull from your social reserves and require times of social rest to replenish your compassion. Seek individuals who have a positive, restorative effect on you, and spend time gleaning from those social interactions.
Make room for the things you enjoy.
There should be enough margin in your life to allow for activities and hobbies you love for no other reason than you enjoy them. Lift praises and thanksgiving during these fun moments. A well-rested life is a wide-open space God can breathe upon with many opportunities to bless you with the gift of His goodness towards you.
Appreciate the small beginning, and trust God for the increase.
Do not strive for results. When we choose striving over trusting, we are saying we are not content with God’s timing. Abraham learned this the hard way. His desire to help God do things faster resulted in Ishmael which only created more work and more problems. Instead, aim to please God. Honor His ways and trust His timing. In due season, you will see the fruit of your labor and your rest.
Stay attentive to how God is leading you.
Communication is one of the gifts of working from a place of rest. As you communicate more closely with God, you will be able to more clearly discern what activities are still yours to do from the ones that were only yours for a season. Separate your emotional ties from what God is calling you to do at this time in your life. Find the freedom to be still and silent in His presence, knowing you will leave these moments of rest better prepared to make decisions about your time. Allow God to lead you as you work from a place of rest.
I built into your very being the need for rest.
How twisted the world has become when people feel guilty
about meeting this basic need! How much time and energy they waste
by being always on the go rather than taking time
to seek My direction for their lives.
Jesus Calling, October 24
Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a board-certified internal medicine physician, best-selling author, and speaker who shares biblical truths to help heal the body, mind, and spirit. She is a popular media guest whose work has been featured on Daystar, Psychiatry Today, Redbook, Woman’s Day, and many other media outlets. She is the author of numerous books including her newest book Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity, including insight on the seven types of rest needed to optimize your productivity, increase your overall happiness, overcome burnout, and live your best life. Over 50,000 people have discovered their personal rest deficits using her free assessment at RestQuiz.com. Learn more about Dr. Saundra at IChooseMyBestLife.com.