Work Hard, Rest Hard.

My husband says he always knows when I'm dealing with underlying stress because it's the only time I ever talk in my sleep ("We need more T-shirts!", "I'm buying milk tomorrow...", "Laundry...") 

Even though I'm physically resting, my mind is on an endless loop of all the things I'm suppose to be doing. There's always something right? Someone you need to call, email, write, those chores you left unfinished, that thing you were suppose to write for work. 

Most days I feel like I spend feeding a machine called life. And it chomps down everything I give it, always needing more. And it's because of this that it feels like you're rarely ever fully resting. Because even if you're forcing yourself to not do those dishes, or take a break, you're still thinking about how you're going to tackle them later. 

Or at least that's the trap I find myself in. 

But God takes rest very seriously. The Sabbath is a command to rest. We shall not sow or reap on the Sabbath, but rest knowing God will provide. My big issues with rest boil down to two major road blocks:

(1) I don't have enough faith to believe God will provide, watch over me, care for my needs if I rest. I need to be in control, I need to provide for myself. 

And even more debilitating, (2) I don't believe I deserve rest. When I do finally sit down with that book, go for a run, take that nap, it's ruined most times by the nagging suspicion that I haven't really worked hard enough for this break. 

Something is wrong in our hearts if we see rest as an earned privilege instead of gift we're given freely. The parameters for rest in the Bible are the same as the requirements for grace, it's a gift

There's something beautiful about the arbitrary nature of the Sabbath in the Old Testament. It didn't matter what was happening or not happening on that seventh day, all activity was called to an abrupt halt. No sowing, no reaping. Just trusting, accepting, and resting. 

Something's wrong in our hearts if we see rest as an earned privilege instead of gift we're given freely.

When's the last time you check out of the world and its pressures, and checked into the rest of God? Real rest happens when we leave our worries, our burdens, our to-do list at the door and sit at the feet of Jesus. 

Sometimes I think Martha gets a bad rap. I don't think she loved Jesus less, I just think she didn't understand grace. She was still working to earn her place at the feet of Jesus. She was still working to enter into his rest. 

But rest has never been anything we can work for. Jesus gives us his rest freely, he knows we're weak, he knows we're tempted to constantly tackle the next thing, and he knows we're always trying to do it on our own. 

We'll either rest, or we'll crash and burn. We'll either observe the Sabbath or we'll find we've never really sat at the feet of Jesus. 

Rest is a grace. And grace-people are Jesus-people. It's how we know we're his