I remember sitting by myself in a restaurant in Canada back in 2008. I had gone there in an attempt to get a quick break from the exhausting, nonstop busyness that had become my life. The ministry I worked for had become all-consuming. I wasn't sleeping well. I was stressed, anxious and burnt out beyond belief. It was on that day, in that restaurant, where God told me it was time to walk away from the ministry I had served for the past 15 years.
Honestly, at the time, I didn't know how burnt out I was. And little did I know this was just the beginning of a journey to recovery the Lord had for me. It was on this journey that He taught me about rest. And this has changed the way I live my life ever since.
Let's begin by clearing up a couple misconceptions about rest. Rest it not simply doing nothing, vegging out or binge watching Netflix on the weekends. And rest is not a reward that you deserve after all your hard work is finished. Have you ever come back from vacation and been even more exhausted than when you left?
The truth is that rest is a gift God wants us to receive—regularly. After all, what did God do on the seventh day? Unfortunately, a lot of people are confused about how rest is intended to bless us. Rest is a requirement, not a reward. In the Bible, God commands us to set aside the Sabbath and keep it holy. Rest is your starting point, not your finish line. We are meant to work from rest, not work to rest. When we get this order right, we are able to give our best to our work, our loved ones and our passions. Finally, rest is active, not passive. It requires thought, planning and intentionality in order to fully receive its fruitfulness.
In our intense, hustle, work-focused culture, it can be difficult to find and prioritize true rest. However, the blessings we receive through finding and receiving rest will not just impact us but will impact and affect the people around us as well. When rested, you will find yourself having more patience, more kindness and more love for others. Remember, rest looks different for everyone—not everyone will enjoy the same type of rest. It's important to learn what rest looks like for you and what restores your soul. How can you begin intentionally prioritizing rest in your life this week?
Listen to The Power of Rest on Transform Your Life with Steve Chua on the Charisma Podcast Network today.
Steve Chua works globally as a pastor, counselor and executive life and leadership coach. His message helps people discover their God-given design and employ strategies to reject false mindsets so that they can live with the success, joy and fulfillment for which they were created. Steve resides in Claremont, California, and has been married to his beautiful wife, Barbara, for nearly 30 years. Together they have five incredible kids!
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