This is part two of the Self-Care Series. To read part one, click here:
Another big piece of self-care is rest. Rest is important for overall physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. It is to be focused on as a key way to care for oneself. What does rest look like?
There are many ways to address rest as a way to have a balanced life. One particular way is rest that comes from God. He is a true source of rest for His followers. He offers the kind of rest that is life-giving and truly refreshing!
Exodus 33:14 gives us this picture of true rest. “The Lord replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” The Hebrew word “nuwach” is a verb with these definitions:
- to rest, settle down & remain, have rest, be quiet
- to cause to rest, give rest to, make quiet, to cause to alight, set down, to lay or sit down, let lie
- to obtain rest, be granted rest, to be left, be placed
- to sit down, to set oneself down anywhere, to take rest, to draw breathe, to be quiet
As we see the meaning of this word, the 2nd part speaks to someone causing or providing our rest. There is a song by Brandon Heath, “I will lay you down” that talks about this. Here are the lyrics on the chorus:
“Come to me weary now…and I will lay you down…throw all your cares aside…you will never be denied…come set your burden free…you will be safe with me…come to me weary now…
I will lay you down”
You might like to listen to the entire song:
Here are some verses that encourage us that God provides our rest…
Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all of you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest.”
Psalm 62:1&2, 5, “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.”
Psalm 61:3 & 4, “For you have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of your wings.”
Psalm 23:2 & 3, “He provides me rest in rich, green fields besides streams of refreshing water. He soothes my fears; He makes me whole again, steering me off worn, hard paths to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.”
In your life, do you ever get the sense that God is allowing something uncomfortable to cause you to come to Him for rest? I certainly do! Sometimes I am fully aware of my need for His rest, and other times, I am busy and clueless of it.
These scriptures show us that God is responsible for causing us to rest at times. He provides rest and puts us in a place where we must rest in Him. This is how much He cares for us –He intercedes when He sees what we need, what is best for us – and takes us there.
Last year at our Support program retreat in March, we looked at Psalm 23. God really spoke to me about rest. He showed me specifically about His being a shelter as my place for rest. He told me a lot about what that shelter looked like.
He told me that my shelter looked like nobody else’s shelter. It was unique and special just for me and Him. He even showed me details that I found refreshing and beautiful based on my likes and desires. He knows me that well that He takes care to provide for me in the best way – in the way that speaks to who He has created me to be! I love that.
I decided to interact with what He showed me by doing some artwork. I am no artist – that is clear, but I thought I would include a picture of this piece as it speaks to my shelter – where I find rest.
As you see, it is no masterpiece but it is significant to me about what He spoke. On the outside of the shelter are things like pain, loss, stress, conflict, questions, trials, darkness, noise, and my enemy. The shelter itself is labeled as a house, a waiting place where God’s presence is.
Inside the shelter is just enough room for God and me. The things He provides here are comfort, trust, protection, peace, rest, intimacy, care, love, joy, soothing, and healing among other things.
The 2 other things that He showed me about this shelter is that it is safe and it is secret – just for us! I have taken great comfort over the past months in this picture. Life gets overwhelming at times, and it is so good to allow God to take me to our shelter to provide the needed rest in my life.
This is one of the ways I choose to engage with self-care – it’s about allowing the God of the universe to provide much needed rest for my soul. I hope you will ask God to show you what your shelter looks like and how He wants to provide rest for you.