And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
Have you ever felt like the people in this verse? Are you seemingly always on the go coming and going at all hours of the day? Is the pace of life so frantic you have a hard time fitting in a meal and if you do it is fast food? Do you long for something different?
If you do, let’s listen to Jesus. When he saw all of the activity of ministry and people coming and going and the toll it was taking in Himself and His disciples, he lovingly tells them to stop, take a break and rest a while. In a word… REST!
Rest sounds good but in reality it seems far-fetched. We can convince ourselves that Rest is beyond our reach. Do any of these statements sound familiar?
Benefits of Rest
Hover over the tiles below for a summary of the benefits of rest.
It may seem counter intuitive, but we need to practice how to rest. If rest came naturally to us, we would regularly retreat in rest. However, that is not our reality. So we can do some practice exercises to get us in the habit of rest. Below are a couple examples. More will be added later. Let me know how you like them or if you have any questions.
A Moment of Rest
Take a moment to rest. Focus for a couple of minutes on one of the scriptures below. Let the word of God resonate in you. Then with the word of God in your heart, click on one of the nature videos. Put yourself in that scene, use your 5 senses to experience the moment. Take some slow deep breaths as you immerse yourself in one of these beautiful creations of God. Thank God for His love for you and praise Him.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
Practicing Rest in Silence
A very helpful spiritual discipline is silence. For most of us, this is really hard. We tend to fill up any silence with actions, words, music and constant interactions with our smartphones! It takes practice but it is good to get comfortable with silence. Sometimes it is in the silence where we can experience God’s presence more fully. We can hear that “still small voice in silence”.
So, lets practice some silence. When you hit the button below, a window will popup with a beach scene, Imagine you are sitting in a beach chair on the sand and the water is washing up onto your feet. The scene will last for 1 minute and then will close. See how practicing one minute of silence goes for you. When the scene appears, there will be no countdown clock! You just have to trust me that the window will close after one minute.
Rest in the Truth
Have you ever stopped and taken an inventory of your thought life? How often is your mind filled with the lies of the enemy who seeks to kill and destroy. One of the benefits of rest is we can gives ourselves time to let our minds settle, to take every thought captive (2 Cor 10:5) and replace any lie or voice of condemnation with the truth of Gods word.
Below are some truths about your identity in Christ. Take this moment in silence to allow these verses to cover you with the truth of God’s love for you. If you want extra time to medidate on a particular truth, hover over the slide to pause the scrolling.