Earlier in life, God called me to rest before I even knew what the word meant. What I learned in my search was that rest requires trust in God. And, in order to rest and truly trust God, it meant I would have to surrender control to Him.
Do you ever choose a word at the start of the year to be your theme for the year?
A few years ago the Lord gave me the word “Rest” as my word for the year. First I laughed, then I argued with God. I was not even sure what the word meant, really. I knew it had to mean something more than sleep (although that surely would have been a good first step in that season of my life). What I came to understand was rest requires trust in God.
At the beginning of each year, our church typically does either a 21-day or 40-day fast. My husband and I decided we wanted the entire family to participate in the discipline.
We explained to our children that fasting doesn’t necessarily mean fasting food…it could be social media, spending money, electronics, or whatever would be a sacrifice in order to spend that time focused on God and His work in our lives. I secretly hoped my children would choose to sacrifice their video games or electronics, but we wanted them to make the decision for themselves.
As we talked, my youngest son, still in elementary school at the time, piped up and said, “So Mom, you could fast your bedtime and you know, go to bed before it turns into the next day!” OUCH! You can’t tell me that children don’t watch our behavior!
In my driven, type-A personality it would have been easier for me to fast eating for a month than to that drastically alter my sleep habits. I smiled to him, and then once again turned to my conversation on the matter with God.
“Really God? You had to use my child to get to me? You know I can’t turn him down when he had a perfectly valid suggestion!”
Learning about God’s idea of rest
From that day forward I began to dig in deeper to this idea of “rest.”
- What did it mean to rest?
- Why was God impressing it upon my heart in undeniable fashion?
- How was I to execute it?
The answers to those questions took some extended time and intentional pursuit to unpack. But one thing became readily apparent in quick fashion: Rest requires trust in God!
Trusting God enough to rest
- Do I trust that God’s word is true and rest is a gift? God’s word says He gives us rest to refresh us.
- “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” Proverbs 3:24
- God gives us rest to sustain us.
- “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.” Psalm 3:5
- Do I trust that in rest He will give peace and safety?
- “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8
- Do I trust that if I heed God’s command to rest that He will help me accomplish what needs to get done?
- “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3
- Do I trust that God is in control, and I don’t have to be? He is sovereign.
- “The Lord Almighty has sworn, ‘Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.’” Isaiah 14:24
One thing is for sure, as long as we have to be in control, we will neither rest nor trust others or God.
What do you need to surrender control of in order to rest and truly trust God today?
Depression doesn’t have to become a permanent part of life.
There is hope.
Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression and the companion Hope Prevails Bible Study help the reader understand how depression comes to be, recover their joy, reclaim their peace, and re-establish their true identity, while knowing their worth, remembering their secure destiny, and being confident that nothing separates them from God’s love.