Monday, April 25, 2016

The Spiritual Discipline of Rest

By Andrea Merrell 

The Lord is my shepherd;

    I have all that I need.
 He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.

Psalm 23:1-3 NLT

It happens when I least expect it. After all these years, I should recognize the signs—fatigue, failure, and frustration.

When my body is overly tired, fatigue can lead to failure in whatever I’m doing. Failure leads to frustration. When I’m frustrated, I get discouraged and want to give up and quit.

In reality, exhaustion is not merely physical. It also affects us mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. Jesus knew this truth. That’s why He took the time to rest. When we constantly overdo it and push ourselves, we get stressed out and burned out. But we tend to keep going so no one will view us as lazy or unmotivated. We don’t think resting is spiritual.

I read somewhere that sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is take a break, take a vacation, or just go to bed. When we’re at our best, we can honor God through our normal, daily activities. This is what the Message translation says in Romans 12:1:  So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. 
When we live our lives as unto the Lord and commit ourselves—and everything we do—to Him, He accepts it as an offering of worship.

Begin today to live your life as an act of worship, and develop the spiritual discipline of rest.

(Photos courtesy of Miles.)


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