Thomas: Feel the empowering joy of 'rest'

God created a rhythm to life. It’s a rhythm of work and rest. God worked in creation for six days — then rested on the seventh day. A day that came to be called the Sabbath. From God’s own example, the people of God were commanded by God to also take a “Sabbath” day of rest each week.

Most our lives are out of rhythm. Oh, we have work down pat. We know how to work ourselves to death! But what we don’t get is how to really rest the way God designed rest to enhance our life.


R – Relax! Put away your smart phone, tablets, devices and just kick up your feet and get some much-needed rest. Resting helps us to think about life and refocus on our priorities that get askew when we are so busy. Rest helps us renew our body, soul and spirit! True rest enables us to stay above the crazy pace of our world.

E – Now that you are relaxed, purposefully focus on experiencing the presence of God. He’s everywhere! In the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, in the flowers, in the birds that sing, in the wonder of creation — we can see the glory of God and know that He is with us. An ancient monk, Brother Lawrence, wrote a simple pamphlet called, The Practice of the Presence of God, where he describes his journey of experiencing daily God’s presence with him. We can experience the same God each day if He is our focus.

S – Simplify your life! The more we have on our plates, the busier we become! The more balls we’re trying to juggle, the more anxious and fixated we become on keeping them in the air! And folks, it’s impossible! We must prioritize our lives and focus on the most important things — eternal things. (And here’s a hint: Important things are rarely the urgent things that get our attention!) I have found that the most important things are your relationships — to God, and to others. We know they’re important but they’re also things that are easy to put off until we have time. (Read: “The Tyranny of the Urgent” by Charles Hummel.)

T – Trust God! As one who is familiar with anxiety and worry — relaxing and resting is scary business because when my body rests, my mind runs over time. That’s why worriers can’t sit still or relax in quiet! The busier we keep ourselves, the less our minds wander into the “what if’s.”

Jesus spoke very directly to us worriers: “Don’t worry about tomorrow! Don’t worry about anything! Just trust God!” (Matthew 6:25-34)

He’s not promising that all our tomorrows will be trouble-free. In fact, Jesus promised that this world is filled with troubles. But then He said, “Cheer up, for I have overcome this world.”

In other words, troubles and trials will come, but don’t worry, I’m here for you every step of the way! When worries come, remember what God tell us to do in 1 Peter 5:7, to “Cast all our cares and anxieties and worries upon the Lord, for He cares for you!”

My hope and prayer for all of us is that in the lazy days of summer, we will discover the empowering joy of “resting” in the Lord!