God told us to find rest, but how can we?
One of God’s instructions to His people — indeed, a clear command — was to rest. What a welcome idea this must have been to the newly liberated Israelite people, who had lived in slavery their entire lives and whose parents, grandparents, and several earlier generations had also known only relentless toil under their Egyptian taskmasters.
Taking time for rest — for Sabbath — doesn’t come easily.
Rest is good for us. It is, in fact, necessary. Yet taking time for rest — for Sabbath — doesn’t come easily. If you desire to begin building periods of Sabbath rest into the rhythms of your life, consider these suggestions from teammates who are learning how to rest.
- Read Richard Foster’s book “The Celebration of Discipline” to discover new ways to connect with God. Try them.
- Go on a walk outside — without your phone — and enjoy God’s presence with you.
- Fast for one meal each week and spend that time praying. Write down any insights you receive from the Lord.
- Write a poem to God about something that’s on your heart, or write a song with or without an instrument.
- Read Andrew Murray’s book “Waiting on God.” Set your timer for five minutes each day to do nothing but be silent and wait on Him. (This sounds easy; it isn’t!)
- Make your own prayer labyrinth. (Google it to learn more.) Labyrinths offer a physical way to meditate on God and His word and invite Him into your stressors. Try doing this with your children.
- Put your phone to bed. While it is “napping,” spend focused time with friends, spouse, child, God, nature, etc.
- Read “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry” by John Mark Comer, which talks about rest, sabbath, and an unhurried life. The teammates who compiled this list noted: “This was huge for us! We are still trying to apply parts of it to our lives.”
- Try taking a 24-hour period of your week to “Sabbath.” Sleep in, turn off your phone, make a delicious meal with your friends or family, read a good book, go for a walk, read scriptures about God’s love for you, do some yard work (if it’s restful for you!), take a nap, etc.
- Read Psalm 23 or Matthew 11:28-30 and imagine yourself in the story. Who are you? What is happening? Where is God? How does He want to give you rest in this season?
- Read all three accounts of Christ’s baptism (Matthew 3:13–17, Mark 1:9–11, and Luke 3:21–22). Focus especially on what the Father told the Son when He came out of the water. (Remember that this took place before Jesus had begun His earthly ministry.) What name or identity does God want to give you today or for the next season? Chosen? Adopted? Seen? Known? Delighted in? Spend five minutes in stillness and allow Him to speak truth over you. Then write down what comes to mind and refer back to it as your true identity.