Mondays. Everyone hates Mondays. It’s the start of a new week, but what if it signified the start of something else? Something completely opposite, something out of routine?
Last week I encountered one of the busiest weeks of the year thus far. However, last Monday I made the decision to be still through the chaos. It astounded me that when an insanely busy week is paired with intentionality, free time is found more abundantly than in the midst of an unoccupied week paired with no intentionality.
Last week was filled with work, school, exams, papers, commitments everywhere I turned, and immeasurable stress. Or so I thought. A week that should have been filled with unfathomable stress was instead filled with unexplainable peace. On Monday morning, God told me to SLOW DOWN. I took this to heart. It was a struggle, don’t get me wrong, but after a while, God’s grace permeated my intentionality. He met me where I was and I realized I was made for this.
We all crave rest. Take my word for it; I chisel out any available block of time to fit in a cat nap, unrealistically but hopefully expecting it to fully revitalize me. And maybe it does. But only my body, and only temporarily. Why do we waste our time unsuccessfully fueling an entity that is merely temporary? Cat naps and Netflix are forms of distorted rest in which the effects cannot last more than a day, let alone stand for all eternity.
Our spirits crave rest too; we just don’t feel the exhaustion physically like we do with our physical bodies. Without this nagging physical reminder, we tend to forget to allow our spirits to rest.
God keeps His promises, and He promises rest with His presence (Exodus 33:14). Divine rest. Rest for our eternal spirits. Even when we are submerged in worldly chaos. Despite every busy circumstance, God’s rest-giving presence is with us continuously. God wants us to feed our spirits with the purest and most eternal source of rest – Him. God is infinite and that means His qualities are infinite. That means His rest is infinite. If God never runs out of rest, neither should we.
God is our generous source for all things good. When we ask according to His will, He faithfully responds. He gives and gives and gives and gives… and gives. What is required of us in return? Only to receive. It often seems like receiving His gifts is an active process… and in a way, it is. But not in the energetic and demanding way we are all familiar with.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” What comes before knowing God? Being still.
We have been tailored by this world to be fast and efficient, but God has written in our DNA the need to be still. No wonder we feel exhausted by the middle of the week – we are neglecting to do what we were designed for. It should come naturally, but let’s be honest, it doesn't. We are not accustomed to slowing down and waiting. Those moments are seen as wasted moments, according to the world’s standards. However, rest is not the equivalent to laziness.
God Himself dedicated a whole entire day to resting at the beginning of time (Genesis 2:3). Clearly, rest was intended to be cherished.
Have we forgotten what quiet sounds like? Are we afraid of it?
Yes, silence might be awkward at first. I wanted to reach for my phone, or even my Bible, in order to feel productive. Instead I had to reach for my will power to restrain myself. It took everything within me to just stop. I realized that for most of my life until this moment, I tried to keep busy to hide every vulnerable side of myself from God.
But God wants ALL of me, ALL of the time.
I encourage you to give God ALL of your attention for fifteen minutes today. He WILL speak to you. He is always speaking to you – the only difference is during this time you are actually listening.
In time, you will discover that God reveals things in the quiet, things that He reserves only for the quiet.
We (yes, me included) tend to define God according to our own lifestyles. How would you describe your lifestyle? Fast-paced? Busy? Crowded? Always in motion? We tend to think God operates those ways when our lives operate those ways. We often conceive an idea of God according to our image, instead of realizing the necessity of adjustment to His image. Hurrying is not in God’s nature. What if we let Him be Himself? What if we let Him speak to us in the stillness?
God is entirely and infinitely multi-faceted. That means He can be accessed via different facets. Not just singing, not just reading, and not just writing, but also in the quiet. Are we limiting God by only allowing Him to speak through our favorite methods? God wants to reveal MORE to you...He always has MORE.
Last week marked a lifestyle change for me. Do I have it all figured out? Of course not. But I saw God reward my intentionality to be still with HIS rest.
Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."