Hope for the Weary Mom: Rest in God
When is the last time you truly rested?
As moms, we constantly feel stressed and pressured to keep busy and handle everything, at all times. When we finally do get a second to ourselves, it is usually used to finish up something we didn’t get around to or to get a head start on whatever is next on the list.
This busy-ness can easily become an idol, and the pride-driven need to do it all on our own will quickly lead to a complete burn out. The best way to avoid burning out is to rest frequently and practice self-care–but what does that actually look like for busy stay at home moms?
What Does Rest Mean in the Bible?
First of all, we need to take a look at what rest really is. I think that many of us Christians often take the worldly idea of rest and self-care as the norm simply because of the culture we are currently in (and especially as moms often feeling overwhelmed):
- A luxurious spa day
- A fun night out
- Taking a day off from household chores
- Sleeping in
- Sitting on the couch vegging out on our Facebook app…
Now I’m not bashing these things–and definitely enjoy participating in them–but really, the Bible gives a very different view of rest.
In studying this topic, I looked at lots of verses, got to the root meaning of the words used, and found I gained some great insight!
In Genesis 2–when God Himself modeled rest–the word was used to mean that He refreshed, and desisted from exertion (according to the free Strong’s Concordance App that I LOVE–here are more of my free favorites). So, in a sense, God was modeling physical rest.
Physical rest is also listed in Deuteronomy and Leviticus as commands, in relation to honoring the Sabbath–where the Jewish community was to refrain from work and remember that God had brought them out of slavery (Lev 19:3, 23:3, Deut 5:12, 15)–Now, I know that there is debate on whether Gentiles are called to honor the Sabbath, but I think that it is important to note whether you hold that belief or not.
It is clear that our flawed, mortal human bodies do, in fact, require physical rest. God designed us Himself with a need for sleep and the ability to experience fatigue. But I think there is a lot more to it than that!
Simply getting physical rest will not leave us feeling any less pressured, stressed, overwhelmed, burdened, or any of the plethora of other emotions us moms feel on a regular basis.
Just as there is a spiritual aspect to everything in God’s word, there is certainly a spiritual aspect to resting!
Referring back to Strong’s, I found that the original text contained root words for rest which also meant these things: intermission, recreation, abode, the refreshing of Christianity, and to colonize or desist–among others. (I will list all of the verses I considered at the bottom of this post!)
In Leviticus 25, God spoke to Moses on honoring the Sabbath. Through him, God commanded the people to honor the Sabbath by working 6 years and resting in the 7th year–without tending to their land. God assured the people that if they were obedient in this practice He would sustain them by providing an abundance in the 6th year that would carry them through.
This was not only a call to physical rest from tending the land, but also to a spiritual rest in Him. I can’t help but see an amazing parallel to modern times: If we are trusting in God and being obedient to Him, we are able to rest knowing that He will provide all that we need.
It is when we start to think that we can handle things on our own, or that something other than our Creator could fill that void and take away those feelings of unrest or weariness that we so often feel, that we stumble and lose sight of the truth: our rest is in Him.
So go ahead and take a break–get some sleep, enjoy a night out–but remember that those things aren’t the solution and will not ultimately leave you feeling refreshed. That only comes from one source, and He is SO deserving of all of our time and praise.
Make sure that you establish a daily routine to continue drawing nearer to God so that you can continue relying on Him and being fulfilled from that. This is the absolute best and most efficient way to find true rest.
How many times have you felt that something was more pressing or important, in the moment, than spending time with God in prayer or in His word?
In contrast, how often have you spent time with God and realized that it messed up your entire schedule and now you are behind on your responsibilities?
I have never once experienced that spending time with God has taken away from something else, but rather that it helped me take care of my other responsibilities even better. That is the true definition of rest and refreshment.
In Exodus 31:13, God explains why He wants us to honor the Sabbath: as a sign that we know the Lord sanctifies us.
God wants us to come to Him, to trust Him to be our peace and to give us rest.
He wants to refresh us and equip us to handle what lies ahead.
He yearns for a personal relationship with us.
In my opinion, it is less about finding rest and more about seeking it. Rest is our choice. It is time to start choosing rest in God and feeling true refreshment rather than to trying to squeeze Him in at the end of the day. I don’t know about you, but the longer I go without opening my Bible, the heavier that cover seems to get. Making time for God, as opposed to “finding time,” is a crucial step in finding true rest in a Sovereign God that is unlike anything we could ever find in worldly things or in our own power.
Can you make time to rest today? Can you make time to spend honoring and bonding with our Amazing Creator?
If you need some support or accountability, or just some tips on getting started, hop over and join the Uninvincible Moms Facebook community and share your heart with us!
And please feel free to shoot me an email any time. We’re in this together!
Verses I used/supplemental reading: Isaiah 28:12, Matthew 11:28, Exodus 20:8-11, 33:14, Proverbs 29:17, Hewbrews 3:11, 4:8-12, Genesis 2:2-3, Leviticus 19:3, 23:3, 25:20-21, Deuteronomy 5:12, 15, and 2 Chronicles 15:15.