I recently spoke with Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith on an episode of “Your Hope-Filled Perspective with Dr. Michelle Bengtson,” Give Yourself a Break. We talked about the importance of giving yourself a break and appreciating your need for rest. Dr. Dalton-Smith is the author of the book Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity. Rest is one of those topics that many of us struggle with. We live in a society that prioritizes productivity. If we don’t rest, we won’t be as productive. I’ve asked Dr. Dalton-Smith to share more about the courage it takes to rest in God.
Finding the Courage to Rest in God
by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith
It is easier for me to get caught up in the busyness of my day than to make time for rest. Rest requires me to trust that my down time won’t result in a lack of progress. It invites me to believe in God’s sustaining power even during the times I don’t feel He’s answering my prayers. Rest compels me to not only lay down my agenda but to also lay myself down before Him.
Rest requires courage.
It takes courage to pull away from the good things in pursuit of what is best. It means standing up against my people pleasing tendencies by giving a heartfelt no rather than a reluctant yes when asked to do things I would rather not do. It means creating space in my day to spend time in God’s word and in His presence. It means taking a stand against the busy life that has become my norm.
The Bible challenges me to exchange my daily hustle to daily hush in the presence of God. It offers rest for my weariness and promises in the process I will experience His goodness. In Isaiah 30:15 (ESV), God says “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” This verse came to me like an outstretched hand, willing me to grab hold. The final words of this verse, however, stood before me declaring the truth about my current situation. “But you were unwilling…”
At times, I am unwilling. Unwilling to be still and know. Unwilling to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Unwilling to trust God to carry the load while I rest in Him. I forget that rest is not optional. Rest is a necessity for living well and loving well. Rest is required to fully give of myself and my talents. Rest opens up room in life for creativity to bloom and purpose to be realized. Rest is sacred. It’s a gift from a holy God to a fallen people. It’s His strength poured out in small portions. It’s a gift.
Rest is how an All-Powerful God pours back into the vessels He has created in His image.
Every day I use physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, sensory, and creative energy. With each type of energy used, this vessel is poured out. Failure to allow time in my life to be poured back in to results in feelings of emptiness and burn-out. Maybe you’ve been there too, juggling your need to get much done with your need to get restored in His presence. Or perhaps you’ve found yourself struggling to navigate the doors of opportunity while prioritizing your need for Sabbath.
Free Rest Quiz
Just as work is valuable, rest has great value. It is by definition restorative. What needs restoring in your life? If you are unsure of the area of your life most in need of restoration, visit RestQuiz.com to find your personal rest deficit quotient. Once you know what type of rest you are missing in your life, begin intentionally getting more of that specific type of rest. If you are lonely, you will benefit from the social rest of sharing authentically with others in small groups or with a trusted friend. If you have tension headaches, you will benefit from the physical rest of muscular stress relief and the mental rest of de-cluttering your mind. If you are broken, you will benefit from the spiritual and creative rest of spending time enjoying the beauty of nature with the Healer.
Matthew 11:28 invites, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (New King James Version). It is an open invitation to all to receive whatever type of rest is required. It includes rest to your mind, your body, your emotions, and your relationships. It is an invitation without restriction; an offer for rest in every area. What type of rest do you need today?
About Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith
Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is an author, speaker, and board-certified internal medicine physician. She is an international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection and a top 100 medical expert in Good Housekeeping Doctors’ Secrets. She has been featured in many media outlets including Women’s Day, Redbook, Daystar, MSNBC, Psychology Today, and Prevention. She is the author of Set Free to Live Free and Come Empty (winner 2016 Golden Scroll Nonfiction Book of the Year and 2016 Illumination Award Gold medalist). Her newest release is Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity, including ground-breaking insight on the seven types of rest needed to optimize your productivity, increase your overall happiness and live your best life. She has shared her tips on merging faith and medicine with over 16,000 health care professionals to encourage the current and next generation of doctors to treat the whole person. Learn more about Dr. Saundra at IChooseMyBestLife.com.
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, Give Yourself a Break, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is giving away a free copy of her book, Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one new thing you learned from this post about finding rest in God and you will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Saundra’s book.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing. The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, September 9, 2019, here on this post. Continental United States only.