but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
~ Isaiah 40:31
We all get tired. Even scripture shares that after God created everything there was a need for rest.
Rest takes many forms. Lately I have heard of folks taking social media sabbaths that includes taking social media applications off their phones.
Rest for some means withdrawing from activities, or taking time off work to go on vacation, that then leaves you looking forward to going back to work so that routine will then involve getting the rest you need.
Yesterday I spent time with a man who's dimentia doesn't directly effect his brain, instead it effects parts of his body. "One day I woke up and simply forgot how to swallow. It was just so strange. And then a month later, I simply forgot how to walk. While I may be confined to my bed all the time, sorting through how to do things in my mind is just exhausting. All I want to do now is sleep."
Rest is something we all seek. It seems that on every street in America there is a mattress shop, reminding us how important it is to find the "perfect number" that somehow will allow for the perfect rest.
While we think of the physical rest we need, often we overlook the rest that our spirit also requires. We are reminded that we are mind, body and spirit. Caring for each also means that we need rest for each.
Our minds and bodies are generally the easy fix when it comes to rest. We simply turn out the lights, turn off the television, and close our eyes. But for many, the need for spiritual rest invades our ability to get good rest.
It amazes me the number of people, including myself, who struggle with insomnia at times. The reality is that often the laying awake late at night isn't because I'm not tired, often I find that it has to deal more with a spiritual problem. My spirit may be troubled, or exhausted, and I need to tend to it.
Recognizing that our spirit requires care opens up our lives to being vulnerable to what our spirit needs. It is sometimes allowing for moments of meditation, or journeying through scriptures that remind us to take time to breathe and rest. Our focus on our spirit allows for growth and maturity, while allowing for peace in our life that then leads to the rest that we need.
Allowing for rest does not mean that we are weak. It is the reality that what we are seeking makes us not necessarily stronger, instead, makes us whole.
May we find rest unto our souls as we remain in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.