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Stop and Breathe: Take Time to Rest

"Relax..."

If I had a dime for the amount of times I've heard those words in my life, I'd be a billionare. 

I'm the type of person that has always struggled with being still. I'm a "go-getter": always running around from one place to the next, taking extra shifts at work or responsibilities at church, starting new things, and making more commitments. Ever since I've graduated from school, but especially since I moved out on my own, I've barely stopped.

And that's a big problem...

Why Rest is Important 

It has only been lately that I've realized how important it is to slow down. As someone who can run on a nearly-empty tank, I would tend to assumed that if I could get by without much rest, it wasn't a big deal. Life can be so busy and there are so many things - good things - we can do with our time. 

As I've struggled all my life to find ways to fit my overly-ambitious schedule into the same 168-hour week I've always had, I have been learning - or more-so relearning - why taking time to rest your mind and body is crucial.

Primarily, God created us to need rest. One important aspect of this is that rest reminds us that we are finite. We were not created to go on full-speed forever - we need to rest. We are not God - our minds get tired and our bodies become exhausted. If we don't rest, we will physically suffer. 

Another consideration is that rest is important - if not necessary - for our sanctification. If we are constantly fatigued, we won't have the energy to fight sin, study the Scriptures, and live godly lives. We just won't be able to. Yes, God promises that He will provide us the strength, desire, and ability to obey and grow in Him - but He also expects us to use wisdom and discernment. Should you really wonder why you keep giving way to sin if you're not providing your body with the rest it needs to fight the Spiritual warfare?

A final thought is that rest is not just a need - it's a blessing. Resting not only allows our body and mind to unwind, but also gives us the opportunity to put all else aside and focus on what is most important. It's perfectly okay to rest by watching a movie or browsing through a magazine. However, if you love God and what to become more like Him, shouldn't that be reflected in how you rest? Your resting should often include an emphasis on meditating on God and the Gospel, pursuing holiness, and encouraging others in the faith. The time we have to rest is an immeasurable blessing because it allows us ways we can be prepared - both physically and spiritually - for the next thing.

Take Time to Rest

Maybe resting means reading through a book on biblical theology, or listening to a sermon or podcast. It could be journaling your day and how God is working. Perhaps it's taking a nap after work with gentle music flowing in the background. It might be something as crazy as eating pizza at the beach, hearing the roaring waves under the twinkling of the stars while medidating on God's amazing handiwork (because let me tell you, it's pretty refreshing and awe-inspiring) - or it may be something as mundane as getting to bed at a decent hour so you're emotionally ready for work the next day.

Whatever way you do it, give your body the break it needs. As a Christian, your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corithians 6:9-10). You don't just honour God with your body by abstaining from harmful substances or immorality, but also by providing your body and mind with the necessities to perform well, so that you can do good deeds to glorify your Saviour.

So stop: pause for a moment and simply breathe. Make time in your life for necessary rest.

You will not regret it. 

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