Words of My Life: Rest

In ongoing celebration of my Jubilee year of 50 years in ministry and 70 years of life, I am sharing some of the words of my life. This word--rest--is a deep desire of mine.


Rest is one of the words of my life because it is almost always something I am in great need of.

My body needs rest.

I am often so tired.  I say that frequently.  The thing is, it’s my choice for the most part.

I can blame it on my busy schedule, but who makes my schedule? Yes, there are gatherings and events that are priority, some even mandatory.  But I have much discretion over my time.

Of course, all my global travel is exhausting.  Jet lag is depleting. Perhaps I could learn to say “no” more often.  But I love what I do when I get there.

More sleep would be wonderful.  I have to get up early, so perhaps I need to go to bed earlier. Yet my mind doesn’t shut down. I’m told to get off my computer sooner.

Better health would surely give me more energy.  I’m doing better at exercise and eating choices.  Better is a relative term.

Et cetera. Basically the rest my body needs is mine for the taking.

And my Father is so kind to give me self-discipline as a fruit of the Spirit.  If I will stay filled with that amazing Spirit.

No real excuses.

My soul needs rest.

Soul rest is surely more needful than body rest.

But I can’t provide soul rest.  It is a gift from God.

Jesus made this astonishing promise to us:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Rest for my soul.  A gift from Jesus via His yoke. I need not carry all my burdens, worries, fears, hurts, losses, concerns myself.

Understanding how that works is a challenge, but I have discovered some places where He has rest waiting for me.  I’m only mentioning one of those places—the most important one—in this post.

In His presence

God Himself has invited us to abide with Him, to dwell in His presence, to rest with Him:

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm16:11)

The path of life. Joy. Eternal pleasures. In His presence.

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8)

Always.  Continually.  Without interruption.  Focused on Him.  Then I will not be shaken.  My soul will rest.“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

He desires to be in constant conversation with me.  He listens—and cares about all my concerns and needs as well as joys and hopes.  He responds with comfort, encouragement, wisdom, admonition, peace, hope—and rest.

Because God consistently pursues me and generously gives rest to me, I can gratefully say that my soul rests better than my body most of the time.  He’s a superior rest giver.I desire to accept this invitation every day, every moment:

“He said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” (Mark 6:31)

What about you?  Are you weary?  Where are you finding rest for your soul?

You can read about more places of rest for your soul in my small e-book, Finding Rest.

C 2015 Judy Douglass