January-overwhelm. I think it’s a thing. For some of us, January can be a tad stressful as we hear about everyone’s goals and dreams and resolutions and plans for the coming year! Diets and studies and jobs and fitness and travels and detoxing and de-cluttering and de-everything-ing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all great and healthy and positive, but the mere thought of the intense “doing” can be exhausting. Especially when it comes at us in one big January whammy. So how about working rest time into the planner this year? Specifically, SOUL REST…
Why soul rest? When we’re physically exhausted, we try to remedy that with sleep, and when we’re mentally fatigued we know to take a break lest we break down completely. But that need for soul rest is a little more subtle. It’s like a hidden need to replenish, and it results in much-needed rhythms of grace. Breathing room for our souls. Umm… yes, please.
We long for blessed rest that reaches into our marrow and beyond. More than physical, mental, and emotional; complete and utter rest for our battered, frazzled, hopelessly forgetful souls.
“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.” Psalm 62:1 (NIV)
In God. That’s where we find rest. In this verse, the phrase “my soul finds rest” is also translated as “my soul waits in silence”… and that’s where it gets tricky. We struggle with silence, don’t we? And yet the Lord encourages us time and again to “be still”. In true preaching style (and I am absolutely preaching to myself here), let me present THREE “S” words to help us savour soul rest:
- SIT —why is it so hard for us to actually hold still? Even when we finally collapse onto the couch, our thumbs are madly typing onto our wretched phones. (Okay, I do the weird mom thing holding the phone in my left hand while stabbing the keys with my right middle finger. Apparently, not cool.) We need to put boundaries around our downtime, and that includes our cute little devices. This rule is not just for the kids at the dinner table, friend! Being still, being quiet, listening for God’s whisper… “To wait in silence before the Lord is not idleness or inactivity. It is calm worship and faith, resting in His greatness and submitted to His will.” (Warren Wiersbe)
- SOAK —if you’re like me, the word “soak” conjures up thoughts of peacefully luxuriating in a fragrant bubble bath, and that’s a very, very, very good thing. But I’m actually referring to soaking in the simple glory around us. Allowing the beauty of creation to soak deep within our souls with eye candy such as mountain or lake or ocean or countryside or forest. It reminds us how small we are and how utterly magnificent God is, and that makes His love for us all the more breathtaking. Stop. Soak it in. His handiwork is a gift and sometimes our souls crave nature and beauty and the wonder of it all.
- SATURATE —immerse your mind and saturate your soul with Scripture. For there we find peace, encouragement, love, acceptance, soul rest, and refreshment like you would not believe. We have the privilege of having copious versions at our disposal for our nourishment and edification— if we would only take the time. There’s so much out there vying to saturate our minds, but only The Word can satisfy and give us the truth and peace we crave. “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2
Jesus offers soul rest to all who are yoked to Him, who follow Him as believers. Let’s not wait until we are spiritually dehydrated to seek Him out in desperation. Let’s be intentional about making time for soul rest in our lives. In our schedules. Right now, in the first month of the year. Before we find ourselves overwhelmed and exhausted, “weary and burdened”. Let me leave you with a different version of a well-loved passage:
Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Put My yoke upon your shoulders—it might appear heavy at first, but it is perfectly fitted to your curves. Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. When you are yoked to Me, your weary souls will find rest. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28-30 (The Voice)
Here’s to making time to SIT, SOAK, and SATURATE our way through 2018!
P.S. Want to savour some soul rest with a FREE e-book devotional in Proverbs 31? Sign up HERE for DIAMOND DEVOS 31… live out your purpose and passion with wisdom and strength!
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out: