Most every day on my Facebook page I ask, “What is your word for today?” I answered myself. Restless. Today I am restless.
I was feeling sort of anxious and agitated like anything could take me to a place I didn’t want to go. Instinctively I knew I was restless, but I wasn’t sure why or what that was about.
In the past I would have run to the kitchen to find something, anything, with sugar in it to eat. It was my go-to source to fix, well, anything that needed “fixing” in my life.
Being restless is something I wanted to fix. I don’t like feeling restless. It is unsettling and unproductive.
Instead of eating, I began listening to a podcast of a favorite speaker. I have no idea what he said, but hearing his voice spurred me to think about the uselessness of wondering why I was restless.
What Is It?
I began to research my feeling. Restless according to the dictionary is not being able to rest or relax as a result of anxiety or boredom. If those are the only two possibilities for the cause of restlessness it definitely has to be the first because my life is far from boring.
The second part gave me pause, “offering no physical or emotional rest; involving constant activity or motion.” That pretty much sums up my life. I am overwhelmed with activity or more specifically responsibility.
What Would Help?
It occurred to me that the opposite of restless is probably rest and although I know what rest is, I wanted to see what the dictionary had to say about it. As I suspected it means to “cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself or recover strength.”
Looking at my schedule this week there seemed to be no time for “rest”. Even sleeping has not been restful to me this week.
One thing hit me, though, about the two words. Restless is an adjective which means it describes a noun. I am the noun. I am restless.
Rest Is An Action
Rest, surprisingly, is a verb, an action. In order to not be restless I have to do something. I have to rest!
Solomon, one of the wisest men ever alive, had this to say about being restless, “Too much activity gives you restless dreams.”1
Isaiah goes further with the cure and the reason for restlessness. “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength but you would have none of it.”2
I try very hard to only do the things God is leading me to do. And sometimes when I look at the big picture of my life I tend to get totally inundated with everything that MUST be done, right now.
So many things SCREAM at me saying they have immediate priority. And yet my strength doesn’t come from the verb of doing, but the verb of resting in my Lord.
Put Strength In Place
It is there I get rejuvenated. It is there I can soar on wings like eagles, run and not be weary. I grab hold of quietness and trust as my shield against the anxiety of a society bent on overwhelming me.
And I listen carefully for His voice which tells me when I veer off the course4 He has planned for my life. For I so want to walk in His path and His alone.
In order to do that I must employ the verb of rest. Resting requires many actions. I need His priorities to rule my life—firm pillars He has given to keep Him as the strength of my life.
For me that includes: Quiet meditation, Study in the Word, on-my-face prayer, worship, praise, thanksgiving, proper nutrition, water, exercise, down time, sleep, balance, processing my emotions, reading, writing, journaling prayers, mentoring and being mentored, fellowship with other believers, taking thoughts captive, walking in obedience.
If I have these in place I can rest in Him because He and He alone is my strength. “The Lord will be the Savior of them who love Him … God will live in them as their Strength. Because of their faith in Him, Their daily portion will be a Father’s help, and deliverance from evil. This is true for all who turn and hide themselves in Him!”5
Rest is a verb. I rest in Him.
What is an important ingredient for rest in your life?
1 Ecclesiastes 5:3 NLT
2 Isaiah 30:15 NIV
3 Isaiah 40:31 NIV
4 Isaiah 30:21 NIV
5 Psalm 37:39-40 TPT
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