Sometimes we wait to rest in the Lord until we are so exhausted that it’s hard to think straight. We do not have to wait to find rest in the Lord. Rest is available to us now. Rest is not something we work for.
Don Colbert, M.D says in his book Deadly Emotions “that adrenaline creates as powerful a high as morphine. Therefore, those who are addicted to stress hormones are often successful in their careers because they are always pushing themselves to achieve new goals or are in pursuit of a new conquest that will give them a temporary emotional high.”
If we put ourselves in this situation, it may look like participating in every volunteer position at church.
Maybe it looks like saying yes to everyone around you.
It could be that you are burning the candle at both ends, trying to achieve the dream God placed on your heart.
The candle may be burning at both ends, but sooner or later, those two ends will meet.
I started working when I was 16. Every summer after that, I would pick up 2-3 summer jobs on top of my full-time job because I was committed to keeping the promises I made to myself at 16.
That I would always have food, water, and heat. Three things that were never a guarantee. (I talk more about how I overcame my workaholic hustle mode in my book Face Off with Your Feelings.)
Work was all I knew, and I knew I had to work if I never wanted to repeat my past.
I didn’t know how to rest in the Lord, laugh, or have fun. If you were to ask what I liked to do for fun, I wouldn’t have an answer for you because all I did was work. It’s what I knew, and work was also my escape.
If you are living in what seems like a constant state of hurry all the time, you may be addicted to your own stress hormones because when a stressful event happens, the brain perceives the threat and releases a specific set of stress hormones. Also, the stress response triggers the adrenal glands to release adrenaline.
So how do we rest in the Lord when our body is programmed to keep going?
We go to the Lord and pray.
Ask the Lord to show you the areas you need to recommit to Him. Something I often pray is for God to open my eyes to things I can’t see. I want to see how He sees, not how I perceive what is happening. What I believe about my situation and God will control my actions and how I show up. If I am beholding His love, being held by Him, then my view of work and rest changes. How I show up to work changes as well.
View rest not as the world does.
The world teaches us that we work to rest. Meaning we earn our rest versus living from a place and state of rest. Not striving. Working is good and something the Lord calls us to do. However, it’s not a state we live in. Working to live, not living to work.
We enter into God’s rest by first understanding our total inability to enter God’s rest on our own. Next, we enter God’s rest by our total faith in the sacrifice of Christ and complete obedience to God and His will. “And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief” (Hebrews 3:18–19). Unlike the Israelites, whose unbelief prevented them from entering the Promised Land, we are to enter God’s rest by faith in Him, a faith which is a gift from Him by grace (Ephesians 2:8–9).
Know that rest in the Lord is not only physical but emotional too.
“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7)
Rest in the Lord refers to a spiritual rest from confusion, worry, stress, useless human effort, and a break from all internal, external, mortal, and spiritual enemies.
We see God rest in Genesis 2:2, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.”
We can rest in the Lord in our physical bodies while our soul finds rest in the promises of God.
Know your limits but don’t settle for them.
I think it’s important we have the awareness of our physical limits. Meaning how much we can realistically commit to in our everyday lives. This is where it’s important to know and enforce your boundaries and priorities. To rest in the Lord, we are obedient to what He has called us to in this season.
However, let’s not hide behind what is also comfortable to us. Sometimes we fall into routines where we stay comfortable and do not push ourselves to love and take care of those around us. There will be times when we will “feel” inconvenienced. This is how we know the Lord is maturing us when we don’t follow as the flesh but listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
Track your time.
I think the enemy loves to use time against us. We convince ourselves we don’t have time to rest. Whether it be physically resting your body or taking care of yourself emotionally. My husband and I use a time tracker sheet every few months to check in with what we are doing and how focused we are.
One easy way to check our time is to check our screen time on our phones. Our phones tell us what apps we use the most.
To rest in the Lord takes intentionality. Resting will not just happen. Rest is a choice that we have by His grace.
Praying and rooting for you,