Let's Talk About Rest


Have you ever felt tired and worn out, but nothing seems to quench your thirst for rest? Imagine, you are in a desert and your mouth is aching for a drop of water. You see an oasis in the distance, but as you move closer, you realize your mind was playing a trick on you — a hallucination. Something looked like your solution (and for a bit it was) but your thirst was never satisfied. Sometimes we can feel this way about rest. We continue to look for long term solutions, but become disappointed with the momentary idea of satisfaction as we realize our coping mechanism was only giving us an illusion of rest. 

Now, let’s dig a little deeper. We all tend to view rest and incorporate it into our lives differently. There are three areas that most of us may fall into when we cope with our need for rest, neglect rest, or search for a cheap substitute:

  1. Some of us might feel that there is not a need for rest and when/if we do, we feel weak admitting we need it.

  2. Some of us might feel unsettled or unable to leave our work at work or are worried (in general) to give others responsibility because of a lack of trust. We feel that if we take a break, we might miss out on something. Or, when we do take time, our minds become anxious about what could go wrong or go unfinished while we are “trying” to rest. 

  3. Some of us numb out the world and call it “rest” when we really are using “rest” to ignore our problems. As a result, we feel confused to why we don’t feel well rested since we think rest is when we disengage with the world.

We all might fall into one or more of these categories, because of the way we are wired, but also because of the messages that the world has been sending us. These are possible messages we hear and when we listen to them, we can see how they have propelled us into our misunderstanding of rest:

  1. Hustle, because depending on what you accomplish, that's how people may value you-strong, successful, and like you are living your best life.

  2. You control what does or does not get done. If something is left unfinished, it’s your fault. 

  3. You only rest by turning your mind off or going on vacation.

Now that we see how we could relate to one or more of these rest patterns and understand what we have heard from society that can support these habits (that are not life-giving), where do we look for a solution? It can be challenging to filter out what society says while recognizing God's truth in the midst. Sometimes we forget the truth that the Bible speaks about rest and how through Jesus our souls can be revived as we connect to Him. When we feel the lines becoming blurred between society’s truth and God’s truth, we can always turn to Scripture and see what God says. Then we can shift our lives towards His truth. 

That’s where he restores and revives my life. He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honor to his name.

Psalm 23:3

Jesus is our Reviver. He has the last word about who we are and where our identity lies. When we take a step back, come to a quiet place with Jesus, He reorients our focus enabling us to go back out to the world and use our passion to bring glory back to Him.

My heart and soul explode with joy—full of glory! Even my body will rest confident and secure.

Psalm 16:9

We can be secure in God because He is in control. He knows our every need, which allows us to let go of control and understand that when we feel like we are falling short, that is the perfect opportunity for God to show His power. Now, it is easier said than done. When you have quiet moments with just you and Jesus, your mind might start to wander to what you could be doing or what you haven't finished. Just remember, God knows you. Trusting in Him that you will get everything done because you know God’s character and He will honor your time spent with Him.

The Lord is close to all whose hearts are crushed by pain, and he is always ready to restore the repentant one.

Psalm 34:18

God wants us to come to Him when we are in distress and not go to other things of this world to numb our discomfort. He wants to free us, connect us, and uncover our hurt and pain. Spending time with God and sharing your heart with Him creates a deeper intimacy and gives you new life. Jesus wants to free your mind by experiencing true rest instead of a cheap substitute that is only a momentary relief instead of the long term relief found in Jesus.

From looking at the Bible, we can see that the solution to experiencing true rest is through Jesus. We can do this by spending time with Him, reading His Word, journaling and sharing our hearts, doing something we love, and thanking God throughout our day. Another possibility might be to go on a retreat that cultivates an atmosphere of rest with like minded women. A particular retreat that spreads this true message is called Return to Rest. This looks different for everyone, but whatever your nexts steps might look like, Jesus loves you and wants you to experience true rest that only He can provide. 

What does true rest in Jesus look like to you? 


My name is Moriah Spencer and I’m an English Major at Nyack College. Ever since I was young I have had a passion to create. Whether that be writing a story, painting, or decorating my room. God has given me a desire to share how He has changed my life and I am excited to take you along on my journey!