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Rest in the Bible

By Annaliese Raynak
Family
07/12/23
rest in the bible. CHM

If you just gave birth, then baby cries, last minute runs for groceries, and constant exhaustion might be your “new normal.” No matter what your birth story looked like, how good your marriage is, or how much support you’ve received, you can still feel stressed, tired, and maybe even a bit anxious.

Here’s the good news—you’re not alone! Motherhood, a job transition, or even just the busyness that consumes our lives causes weariness. That’s why it’s important to learn to rest well and make time for recovery. Even Jesus went away to pray.

Rest stop

Imagine you’re on a long car ride to your favorite vacation destination. After five hours, you’re more than a little tired, sore, and let’s face it, probably “hangry,” too. Suddenly, you spot a rest stop in the distance. You’re able to pull over, stretch your legs, and get some much needed fresh air and food.

We all need “rest stops” in our lives. God never meant for the Christian life to become so consumed with stress and worry that our souls reach empty. Running on fumes is exhausting and leaves us unable to give our best to our family, our friendships, and our daily tasks.

Knowing how to rest is just as important as knowing how to change a diaper or cook dinner. That’s why Scriptures about rest highlight the importance of sitting at Jesus’ feet to draw from the living water and satisfying our weary souls.

Promised Land

We all want rest. So did the Israelites! They wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. That’s a long time to never have a place to truly call “home.” They dreamed of the Promised Land, a place flowing with what they needed and with what their hearts desired.

Even after their disobedience, God never gave up on the Israelites. He, too, wanted to bring them into a restful place where they could settle and thrive.

What’s your “Promised Land”? Maybe it’s a few moments of peace, a nap after a night staying up with a newborn, or a chat with a friend. Regardless of the reason, God wants to bring you to new levels of peace and provision.

Sabbath

We’re called to rest in the Lord. But rest and recovery doesn’t come by striving. We’ve subconsciously believed a very persuasive—though well-meaning—lie. In our culture, worth equals work. We assume if we’re not working, then our needs will go unnoticed. After all, who will get the bills paid, the kids dressed, and the laundry folded?

There’s nothing inherently wrong with being a faithful servant who works hard and strives for excellence. But we can either work from a place of restlessness or restfulness.

The Bible points out that resting is a requirement for work. Yes, you read that right. Rest is a requirement. After creating the world, God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2-3). He even went so far as to set apart the seventh day of every week for His people to find restoration (Exodus 20:8-11). He knows our restless hearts and desires to soothe them with healing only He can provide.

“Come to me all who are weary”

God talks about rest in the Bible because He understands the intricacy of our souls. He knows that the new mom and dad need a resting place for heart, soul, mind, and body.

We can either work from a place of restlessness or restfulness.

For example, take a look at just a few of these Bible verses about rest:

  • “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” — Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
  • “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters.” — Psalm 23:2 (NIV)
  • “So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.” — Hebrews 4:9 (NLT)
  • “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.” — Psalm 62:1 (ESV)

When we read these calming Scriptures, we’re reminded that knowing God—the true living God who’s ready and willing to draw close—gives us peace. He’s more than capable of tackling our “to-do” list. We don’t need to draw our worth from our work but rather from the One who says we’re fearfully and wonderfully made.

Postpartum care

Decide that this year will be your “year of rest and relaxation.” It might feel wrong, but rest is actually one of the most productive things a new parent can pursue.

This doesn’t mean that we forget our duties, throw in the towel, and sit eating cookies all day (though enjoying a baked item now and then can’t hurt too much). However, it does mean that we cultivate intentional time and space for rest in our everyday lives.

We can’t serve well, love well, or live well if we’re drawing solely from our own strength—you can’t pour from an empty cup. We can’t even make it to the “rest stop” if our tank is already empty.

God’s in control of our lives, and He wants us to prepare to use our hearts as much as our hands. So take a deep breath and plan a getaway with Jesus. Purposely invite God into your postpartum care. It will look different for everyone, but the important point is that you start.

Whether it’s as simple as a worship session after dinner, dedicating 30 minutes to a devotional study, a Christian podcast while taking a relaxing bath, or a gentle walk while listening to an audio reading of the Bible, there are a variety of ways to make time for restoration. Give yourself permission to be restful and relaxing with yourself and your little ones. The one who spoke the stars into place says that you are worthy of rest.

Grow the Fruit of the Spirit by signing up for our FruitFULL e-book!

Created just for you, this book is full of resources to help you and your family cultivate closeness with God.

Just like you make sure to eat a balanced diet, make sure you learn to grow the “good fruit” of the Holy Spirit. 

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Annaliese Raynak
Annaliese is a storyteller whose passion and purpose is to help others connect their stories to the grand narrative God planned for all creation. Weaving a tapestry of words, she aims to highlight the ultimate source of Truth and help individuals discover their God-given value.