Rest (Part 2)

Do you hate to rest? I’m not talking about a good night’s sleep; we all love that. I’m talking about dropping everything and doing nothing for a while.

For many years I’d go months without taking a break; then I’d get a week or two off from my life and I would wonder why God had allowed the rest. Was something big coming my way? In hindsight I know that it was because I wouldn’t take the break unless it was handed to me. Even God rested after six days. He wants us to rest regularly, not once every few months.

I struggled when I had to learn that lesson. I believed that rest is for the lazy. Keep going! Keep doing! Keep your hands and mind busy! Rest once in awhile was something I could look forward to; regular rest was not.

There are many verses in the Bible concerning rest, and the Sabbath is a big deal because one of the purposes it accomplishes is that we get refreshed as we rest. For years I did honor the Sabbath, but although my body rested, my mind didn’t, couldn’t. I was so accustomed to being an enabler, and taking care of everyone else, that even when my body was still, my mind and heart still raced; my emotions were always near the edge, threatening to bubble over. Many of us don’t know how to rest; and in fact, may still struggle with it.

Recently, faced with direction-decisions and situations, I thought it was time to once again fast and pray so as to discern God’s guidance in our lives. Instead, the Lord’s voice was very clear to me, ‘It’s time you rest.’ Of course when we don’t know how to rest, the command to rest is not what we want to hear. Fasting and praying is active, and we feel that we are joining God in doing something to achieve the end we’re hoping for; resting is the opposite; it means putting everything down and away, and doing nothing. The Lord assures us that we will hear Him clearly as we rest. Remember Elijah on the mountain?

This season of rest has been work for me, but I’m getting better at it. I put away the thoughts of fasting and praying. I imagined what vacation mode does to the mind and emotions, and tried to apply that even though my life continued as normal: work, cooking, household chores, church, relationships, etc. I’ve even taken a break from writing. I imagine myself as being on vacation from worry, stress, anxiety, and have tried to live as if I really do believe that God’s got this, and by ‘this’, I mean, His plans for our future.

Every morning I tell myself, ‘Today is a rest day. Do what you have to do, get that to-do list knocked off, but make sure that above all, you rest.’ My reward comes as my head clears. It seems to have the same effect on the body and mind as when you’re fasting: things aren’t as congested, and there is a mental and emotional clarity that wasn’t there before. You see the things you need to correct in your life, the paths you need to make straight. You get marching orders with specific confirmation. Your spiritual eyes and ears are open and receptive, and your spirit gets poured into in ways you would have once brushed off as silly or foolish.

There are seasons for everything under the sun; those include a time to fast and pray, and a time to rest. Maybe resting takes more faith because when you rest, the work is all God’s. Rest may feel selfish, because it means putting your need before others; but, rest is necessary.

If you think He is calling you into that time when you are to rest even though life continues as normal, be obedient: take the rest, listen for His voice, watch for His guidance. A time may come in the future when you will look back on this rest period and know that it played a powerful role in the life-changing decisions you made.

He knows what He is doing. Take the rest He offers.

For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” (Is 30:15).

Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” (Mark 6:31 NLT).

‘Be still and know that I am God. (Ps 46:10).


©Debbie Mendoza, July 2017. Debbie Mendoza is the author of Exodus: A Journey Through Divorce and JoyHope. For speaking engagements: (011) 501-610-4375

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Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” (Mark 6:31 NLT).

You have earned this rest. Your hands have been at the wheel for too long. You have been in survivor mode going back so far that you can’t remember where it started. Your mind has forgotten how to do anything other than conjure up battle strategies. Your heart has been wrapped up in protective gear to keep it from being hit by stray, and intended, arrows. You are more tired than you know.

You’ve been hurt too many times to count; but every time you got back up again and fixed your armor. You’ve allowed the battles to help you grow, to teach you patience, to trust Me more. You’ve gone deeper and higher with Me because the only other choice was anger and bitterness.

You are a lover, not a fighter; or that’s what you’ve thought about yourself. Yet, battle after battle you’ve refused to back down. Instead you’ve gotten stronger, and you’ve tried your best to teach others how to war successfully. You are both a lover and a fighter!

Even though you are still standing, you need to realize that you’ve been taking a pounding. The arrows that bounced off of your shield didn’t produce the desired results, but they did indeed land with blunt force, and they caused you trauma. The times the ground caved in under your feet didn’t leave you lacking a solid foundation, but they repeatedly left you shaken to the core. The desertions by those who chose to not fight with you didn’t leave you alone and defenseless, but they threatened your belief in humanity and its institutions.

You’ve taken a licking, and have done more than just kept on ticking. You’ve fought for your life; and instead of just surviving, you’ve thrived. You’ve allowed Me to walk you through the valley of the shadow of death, to lift up your head, to rejoice over you with singing. You have earned rest.

But you can only think of survival mode. You’ve been there for so long that you can’t hear the quiet around you now. You’ve talked about laying down the paranoia when the time is right, and replacing it with discernment. That time is now.

You have waited on Me and I’m about to renew your strength. You will mount up on wings as eagles do. You will run without growing weary. You will walk without fainting. But first, you will rest.

Elijah, (1 Kings 19), expected to hear Me in the thunder and the wind because his adrenaline was flowing. He had to slow the pumping of the blood in his ears and in his head, and quiet his heart, so that He could hear Me clearly. And so must you. I’m giving you rest that will lead to restoration. This is My work, not yours. Shake off the survival mode. Step out into the aftermath of My victory in your life. You are welcome in this place.

Bask in the rest I’m about to give you. Even I rested, you know! It is my gift to you. When you start to think that you have to put your hands to doing something or else you’ll go crazy, remember how you’d advise someone else in your shoes. You’d say, ‘Get some rest. You deserve it. You need it.’ Take your own words to heart.

How many years have you been going at it? Three? Ten? Fourteen? Twenty? Do you think you’re superhuman? Are you ready now to close the book on all those years? To move on from survival mode? To be fully healed? The time is coming for you to make the transition, and rest is a big part of that. Take it. I give it to you. Don’t despise this gift of mine. Enjoy it. Be grateful for it. You are so loved. Allow Me to love on you by giving you rest. 

For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” (Is 30:15).

You, My dear child, are not immune from needing rest. Take it, and listen out for Me. You’re not in adrenaline-pumping survival mode anymore. Let the quiet settle around you. Do normal, ordinary things, and enjoy them. As you obey Me in this I will speak so clearly to You that there’s no way you’ll miss it.

I’m waiting for you in this place of rest.


©Debbie Mendoza, June 2017. Debbie Mendoza is the author of Exodus: A Journey Through Divorce and JoyHope. For speaking engagements: (011) 501-610-4375

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