May 22, 2012
Patients frequently come into the office complaining about fatigue or not feeling rested. We discuss their sleep patterns and “sleep hygiene” … like noise, window blinds, light in the room, temperature, bed partner, consistent bedtime, TV in room, evening eating, exercise habits, caffeine, and alcohol use. Sometimes correcting these issues helps. But usually something else is going on.
You see, they do need a rest, but not a nap or more sleep. Physical rest isn’t the core issue. What they actually need is a rest from the burdens and conflicts battering them each day. More sleep rests the body. But it’s not just our bodies that need rest … our souls need it too.
So how do we find rest for our souls? We look to so many cheats that masquerade as soothers. Food, alcohol, caffeine, isolation, our kids and their zillion activities, more work, status, a secure retirement plan, hollow prayer, church activities and service, pornography, exercise, TV, affairs, escape into fantasy through books, movies, internet, computer relationships, social media, and games. The list really is endless.
Where will we find true rest for our souls? Jesus tells us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Don’t fight the experiences and activities of the day. Accept them and see how God is growing you through these specially prescribed circumstances. Seek Him today. Go to Him. He will give you the comfort, peace, and joy you need so your soul will feel rested. When your soul is rested, your body can’t help but have energy when you need it. You will also engage in and enjoy restful sleep when you need or want it.
Satan puts many distractions in our laps to keep our attention away from the peace and rest that God always wants to provide for us. Satan’s tactics haven’t changed since the Garden of Eden. He will offer you an apple, an option, and the lie that his offer will satisfy you. Don’t “pull an Eve” and fall for it.
Today, put your life in God’s hands the same way you put your eternal life in His hands. Examine your stressors and embrace them as workouts to strengthen and grow you. Be thankful for who you will be after the workout. Then ask a wise person to help you see the stressor more objectively … like God sees it. Let your soul rest with Him today and everyday. His hands are big enough and soft enough! Satan’s apple or God’s rest … it’s your decision, so choose well
Dear Father, I come to You weary and burdened, I come to You to rest, I come for Your blessing and grace. I come to be restored. Today, the way ahead of me feels steep. I am slowing down, Lord, so I can cling tightly to Your hand. I feel You are teaching me a difficult, yet important lesson. I am ready to learn. I lift up my hands to You at this very moment, hands of faith to receive Your lesson, Your peace, and Your presence. Light, life, joy, and peace flow freely from You. I know that when my focus turns away from You, I reach for other things. As I reach for them I drop the glowing gift of Your presence. I return to You now my Lord; I turn to enter Your presence. I pray this in the name of the One who laid His life on the cross in Your hands, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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. Matthew 11:28-29
He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:6-8