Tuesday, May 5, 2009

To Rest or Not To Rest?

I'm feeling a little bit guilty tonight. I was supposed to meet my running buddies, Leigh and Stacey, downtown this evening; our goal was to run three miles. We've been training together for several months, and right now, we're logging in about 12 miles total each week. Usually, I'm pumped about running. But this evening, I reluctantly confessed to them, "I'm getting tired and sleepy during the day at work, and I'm having trouble waking up when the alarm goes off. I think that I won't run this week. I need to rest." I just knew that they were going to call me a wimp. Actually, they thought that resting for a few days was a great idea. And the running experts that I've read concur: Rest is an essential component of a running program. So, why the guilt trip? Resting can make us feel guilty because, for some reason, we believe that we should, in fact, be able to handle all of our responsibilities-- take care of our families, be fashionably dressed and well-accessorized, cook (gourmet meals, preferably), do laundry, go to work, exercise and diet until we're all a size zero, drive our kids to school, ballgames, and gymnastics, and of course stop by the grocery store(tired kids in tow), etc.--without taking time to rest. Although our success will surely be short-lived, our calendars and our to do lists reveal that we're at least going to attempt to accomplish as much as possible without any down time. The reality is that none of us can run at race pace day after day and not encounter injury. Runners require rest periods because rest provides the body with a natural opportunity for recovery and repair. We all need time to rest so that our bodies and our souls can recover from the dings and bruises of our daily routine. According to the Bible, rest should be an integral part of our lives. Are you physically tired? Emotionally drained? Do you long for just a few minutes of peace, quiet, and rest? Do you feel a twinge of guilt at the thought of taking that rest? Jesus has extended a wonderful invitation to us. He says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). Listen. He's calling you. He knows your name. He knows that you're exhausted. He understands the weight that you carry. He carried a heavy weight Himself. He's asking you to come to Him. You can accept His invitation and be guilt-free. Be assured that when you come to Him, He will be right there, and He will give you rest. His words are true--He's irresistible--He's waiting for you to accept. Believe Him. Go to Him. Rest in Him. Sweet Dreams, Deb


  1. Oh, I SO needed to read this today! After receiving an email this morning from a friend who hadn't heard from me in awhile, I confessed that my well was empty - I had nothing to give. Physically and emotionally, I'm exhausted. But spiritually, I'm trying to stay connected to the Lord because I know in Him I can find that Living Water. He is the only One Who can provide true refreshment.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Leah,

    I'm so glad that you were encouraged by this post. I prayed for you.

    When I feel like I have nothing more to give, this verse helps me to get a better perspective.

    This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

    "In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it." Isaiah 30:15

    Sometimes, I get so busy that I reject the strength that He offers when I'm quiet before Him and trusting Him. And often that's all that He requires of me.

    Please let me know how you're doing.