Putting away the to do list, setting down the work, turning off the restless, racing thoughts that keep me moving even when I’m desperate for stillness. I never thought I had a problem with rest. But for the last year I feel as though I move almost constantly at a harried, frantic pace with little room for pause or margin. My husband has noticed this as well. Some if it is the nature of raising children, but others are of our own making. This was not the kind of life we wanted to build for our family.
We wanted to home to be refuge not a conflict zone, our marriage to be a sanctuary not another duty, our family to be a place to escape to rather than from. Work is necessary part of life, and we try so hard to teach this to our children. But we also need to better model rest. This is hard to do because resting with our children doesn’t feel like rest.
Rest, if I comes at all, is long after they have gone to sleep at night. Because otherwise the air is constantly filled with noise and conflict. Yet, I know if they don’t see it, how will they know how to do it. Do I let them see me read during afternoon quiet time instead of writing on my computer or catching up on chores? Do they see me prioritize a soothing bath over after dinner clean up? More importantly, do they see me drop everything to experience a moment with Jesus, even when it seems inopportune or ever ridiculous?
The busyness and work will always be there. But rest in God is not contingent upon stillness, but more of a state of heart, an attitude of the soul. Jesus’ finished work on the cross means that I can rest even in the chaos of my daily struggles. My hands may be busy but my mind can be at peace. This is something I need to cultivate a little at a time, whenever I choose hope over fear, trust over worry and calm over panic. I can be confident that God’s purposes for my life will be accomplished and I can have hope in his goodness, even when my circumstances don’t always appear good.
Because his yoke is easy and his burden is light. His resurrection means death has no power, I can stop running and instead choose his rest.