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Five Minute Fridays

One Word / Five Minutes

Rest.  When I read this word prompt it was yet another time I've been reminded of this short word.  I kind of feel like this about the word rest...
It sounds lovely.  Like falling asleep beneath a cool lavender scented quilt and sinking into a satisfying deep dream free sleep. The one you wake from and actually feel like rest merged with you. Like eating a truly enjoyable meal and pushing your plate back satisfied, rest would mean lifting your head off of the pillow, stretching your toes to meet the floor and rising to greet the day satisfied with the sleep. Feeling actually rested. Kind of like sleep actually worked.
It's been awhile.
Four kids squeezed into eight years (none of which have slept well) means that I haven't really felt rested in a decade.  Not to mention all of the high ups and deep downs those years have packed.   Before that there was all that rush and hurry of cramming full loads of college courses in to sprint towards a finish line of school in an unnecessary rush to start grown up life.
Maybe it was high school when I knew what deep sleep rest was.
Physical Rest.
Here's the rub with me...
I've never been a good rester. Ever.
Not physically, not spiritually.
Rest is hard for me.  It actually kind of sounds like work.
I remember from the age of seven and then on when I couldn't rest easily. Those years when even as a little girl I couldn't sleep, troubled, anxious.
Something I couldn't do was let myself rest in Jesus.
I was His daughter but something robbed me of the rest and I began to jump through spiritual hoops early on.  I didn't know how to relax into the arms of grace. Part of it was a deeply ingrained spiritual dysfunction where I viewed God as never ever pleased with me.  I heard about words like grace, but the idea of them eluded me.  Completely.  Almost like referring to a city I had never seen.  I could tell others about rest and grace, but only from my head.  Rest was stymied.  A blockade formed around my heart.
I didn't grasp that all my doing prevented me from seeing what He had already done.
One April day in college I sat in my parent's blue Queen Anne chair dutifully doing my devotions.
In Repentance and rest is your salvation. In quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. (Isaiah 30:15)  
Something about those words struck me.  Kind of like I switched seats in an auditorium and viewed the stage of life very differently.  It was a simple verse, but the idea of resting and repentance meeting together was something I didn't know.  I also didn't know what a quiet soul was.  I knew how to be a quiet girl, but I didn't know how to have a quiet, resting heart.  The last phrase, "but you would have none of it," pricked me.  I felt like Jesus was saying that exactly to me.
Years have passed and that was a starting point to understanding the necessity of resting in the spiritual sense.
What I had always done was struggle kind of like C.S. Lewis says in A Grief Observed,
"The time when there is nothing at all in your soul except a cry for help may be just the time when God can't give it: you are like the drowning man who can't be helped because he clutches and grabs."
That was me.
It still is me many times.
It is still not my nature to rest.
Sometimes we are frightened of the quiet, the rest because it forces us to face others and ourselves and we would rather hide behind the busy then actually be known.
I've been through a dark storm lately.  One I believe happened to me because I let myself become so depleted that I was starving for rest.  Even if it was false rest.  A counterfeit rest.
I also now see the link between quietness and trust and spiritual strength.
If we are empty of quietness and trust we won't be strong and we will be an easy target for our Enemy and given to cave beneath our own fatigue of life.
In the aftermath  of this most recent storm  I have some good days and then meet the bad days just around the bend.  I find myself trying to right it all and think of all angles and mentally berate myself and punish myself to assure me and God that it will never occur again.  Totally figure my weaknesses out so I'll only be strong. Pray, pray again, kind of like spiritually beating myself up.
Recently I felt God whisper to me gently, "Let it rest and leave the rest to Me."  I almost didn't catch it and quickly dismissed it.  But as the days stretched on I felt the phrase take root within me. I kept hearing the whisper and I started whispering it to myself.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is rest and leave the rest to God.
If I don't rest, I'll miss the rest of what He has planned to do.
In Psalm 46 David tells us that God makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.  He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the shields with fire. He says ' Be still and know that I am God.'
Sometimes God silences the war in me and I'm supposed to drop it, let it go, give it up, rest in His work.  I get to rest, to be still, to know in my depths He is God because I see Him make the war within me and around me cease.
I'm trying to be better at resting in Him that I may not miss the rest of His story in me.


  1. Oh, Summer, I hear you!

    The best rest I ever had was in a country much closer to the equator, in which the locals took exception to my presence and had me pinned down in a culvert. 'Pinned down' meant that they were shooting at me, and trying to lob in the occasional frag.

    But the thing is, I was in defilade - safe from direct fire, and as long as my luck held safe from frags as well. The culvert was narrow, and actually getting a grenade in with me would have been a neat trick, the kind that wins you a big stuffed bear at a carnival.

    So I could rest, and learned that a moment of respite in the midst of a somewhat unpleasant situation could be all the sweeter.

    #2 at FMF this week.'d I get out? The locals were angry and aggressive, but not tactically sophisticated. They lost their patience, and made the mistake of moving into the open to try to force the issue.

  2. Summer, I wonder, were you born in the Summer? So poetic! Appreciate this post and that scripture? Very convicting. I don't ever want to hear my Father say, "Susan, you would have none of it." wow. #16 FMF

  3. I suffer from this same "spiritual dysfunction" and Isaiah 30:15 has been a comfort/challenge to me often as well! I hope we are both able to learn to sit still and "let the Lord fight for us." :) #4 FMF

  4. Beautiful words, Somer! The line "you would have none of it" always sticks at me as well. It's true, though; after the work of repentance there needs to be that time of stillness when we allow the Lord to heal our hearts and renew our lives, otherwise we'll just get off track quickly. That's been my experience, anyway. Great reminder!

  5. I love your description of rest and how you describe your wrestling with rest.
    "...that I may not miss the rest of His story in me." Awesome.


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