I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.
(Jeremiah 31:25 NIV)
It’s a few days before autumn, and somehow in the beauty of changing seasons, comes a time where a lot of people get…sick. And it happened to me.
I got sick.
The kind of I-have-to-cancel-plans-again sick. The kind that keeps you up all night coughing then makes you take a 3-hour-not-30-minute-like-I-planned nap in the afternoon.
And over the past two weeks of losing my voice, I’ve learned a few things about getting better.
I needed a lot of rest–even when I’d rather cross something off my to-do list. But the symptoms were there. I was coughing, sneezing, and tired. If I wanted healing, I needed to go to the right source for it. I had to follow the right remedies from my doctor, take the right medicine, and I needed to get proper rest.
Too often, we ignore the blatant signs that we rest. We feel far from God, but we keep it to ourselves. We feel lost in our callings, but we keep wandering on our own. We struggle with sin, but we suffer in silence.
While we may face difficulties in this life, we’re not made to stay there.
If I noticed I was getting sick but ignored my symptoms, I would be worse off than I was 14 days ago. How crazy would it be for me to think this was how I’m supposed to live for the rest of my life? I’m not supposed to be sick forever.
Likewise, when you notice discouragement, sadness, anger, confusion, and shame showing up in your life, understand that they’re not supposed to stay there. Did you know you’re called to freedom–even in trying times? God doesn’t want you to remain restless.
Rest is yours to have in the everyday. Even on your busiest days, the uncertain days, the hard days. And so, I’d like to share with you three tips to find rest in your life–no matter what your season looks like.
Recognize Your Need for Rest
When I say rest, I don’t necessarily mean a nap. (But, of course, take one if you need to.) What I mean is that you have a place to turn to for a solution.
First, recognize when something has changed. Do you notice your patience running thin with those around you? Maybe you haven’t been showing love the way you’d like to. Or, perhaps you’ve been distancing yourself from community.
This season may have recently started to look confusing. Maybe you were satisfied with your career or education, and now you’re feeling restless. You felt called into a direction, and now you’re doubting if you even heard from God. Clear paths are beginning to look like blurred lines.
Perhaps you’ve been dealing with a lot of fear lately. Doubt. Hesitancy. It’s time to recognize it.
The tendencies and patterns in your life could be indicators that it’s time for you to get quiet with God. No, you don’t have to stay in the dark. The first step is identifying that something is off–and that there is a remedy for it.
Recognize Where You Go for Rest
If you’re feeling restless, don’t rush. We have a natural tendency to find answers and fast. To move on, get to the next thing, find a quick fix. But may I ask–where do you look for solutions?
In our restlessness, we can turn to harmless things. We work harder, we try harder. We turn to friends or family.
Nevertheless, it’s important to note this: If you ignore your problems and turn to people, things, or accomplishments to satisfy you, you’re not going to find rest.
Also, if you turn to habits and sins for temporary solutions, you’re not going to find rest.
You are worth more than the former things that Jesus died to give you freedom from. You are worth more than temporary fixes for long-term voids. Identify your instincts. Where do you turn to first? Has it been helpful? It’s time to turn to the right solution.
Recognize Your Solution for Rest
One of my favorite verses is Matthew 11:29: “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” (NIV).
The Lord calls us into intimacy with Him. Notice that His yoke isn’t a burden. Rather, He promises rest for our souls.
Whatever God calls you into will not be burdensome. He will equip you for where He calls you. He gives strength to the weak (Isaiah 40:29), water for the thirsty (Psalm 107:9), healing for the hurting (Psalm 34:18).
If you try to go on your own, you may take up things that are not of Him. You may take up comparison, finding yourself unsatisfied with your life. You may take up bitterness, finding yourself frustrated by disappointments. You may take up fear, finding yourself trapped by brokenness.
And yet, when you take up Christ, you find His rest. You find His peace. You find His solutions. You find His understanding.
Friends, we’re not made to be “sick,” or stuck, forever.
When I first became sick, I noticed something vital. When I took the wrong medicine I thought I needed, it didn’t work. Nothing changed. Nada. Same old thing, same symptoms. But when I went to a doctor and found the right medicine, in just a few days, I’m returning back to health.
God’s solutions will bring you the right solutions. His solutions will change your symptoms. Don’t let anything enter without filtering it through Him. So, I encourage you: Go deeper with God. Go deeper in your study of the Word, go deeper into prayer, go deeper in worship.
Sometimes it will call for sacrifice, sometimes it will force you into resting instead of going, but it will be worth it. When you prioritize your communication with God, you will find His rest.
The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
(Exodus 33:14 NIV)
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