At the beginning of last month, the empty pages of my planner called out, “fill me!” and “look, room for more!” Realistic expectations of achievable tasks were cast aside in the exciting potential of a blank slate.
After mapping out the whole month, I anticipated greatness…until I got sick.
Within days, my great plan came to a halt. Sitting on my couch unable to move I asked, “God are you trying to tell me something?”
“Rest with me,” Jesus replied.
Truthfully, filling every hour of every day left me exhausted, so I conceded.
Now, my version of resting usually means giving my mind and body a break; but after sitting on the couch watching Netflix for an hour, I felt God stirring within me, “this is not what I meant.”
God’s prescription for me echoed Jesus’ instructions for his disciples after a long day of work:
“Then because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he [Jesus] said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'”
Notice, Jesus doesn’t say, “go rest,” but instead, “come with me…and get some rest.” Resting with Jesus refreshes our mind, body, and spirit (“I’ll refresh tired bodies; I’ll restore tired souls.” Jeremiah 31:25 MSG).
Therefore, a call to rest, is really an invitation to be refreshed.
During the next few days, I explored different ways to rest with Jesus. Here are a few of my favorites.
5 Ways to Rest With Jesus:
1. Sing worship songs.
Pull up your favorite music app and sing along with a Christian radio station. My favorite app is Amazon music because of their x-ray lyrics feature. The lyrics scroll up your screen so you can sing along if you don’t know all the words.
2. Experience the Bible in a new way.
Reading in a different version, or listening to an audio recording brings freshness to familiar passages. I like the YouVersion Bible app for the easy accessibility to different versions and pleasant audio recording. When looking to rest with Jesus, I turn to The Message. The modern day language invites me in like a good novel.
Confession time, I never liked journaling until I used it to rest with Jesus. So even if you hate journaling, I encourage you to give one of these approaches a try.
- Write down your thoughts about a currently situation or on something you read.
- When finished, tell God “those are my thoughts, what do you have to say?” Then write down whatever comes to mind.
- Ask God for images. Draw whatever comes to mind, staying tuned into God so he can explain why he gave you a particular image.
4. Color Bible verses.
Coloring activates different parts of our brains than we normally use, allowing the “stress” part of our brain to rest. With your stress level decreased, coloring Bible verses easily turns into a time of meditating on scripture. While coloring, ask God to speak to you through the verse. Think, “how does this verse apply to my life?”
You don’t need to go out and buy a special Bible verse coloring book (although you may want to if you end up loving this form of rest). Free downloadable pages are available from a variety of websites, just do an internet search for Bible verse coloring pages. A few of my favorites can be found here and here.
5. Sit and listen.
Find somewhere quiet and expectantly wait on God. Keep your mind clear and focused on being in God’s presence. When distracting thoughts pop into your head, say something simple to refocus like “Holy Spirit come upon me,” or “God I remain in your presence.” God doesn’t always speak during these times, but he is always there. So seek his presence and truly rest with him. End your time by saying “God, I am getting up now, but I will remain aware of your presence and open to hearing you speak today.”
Are you feeling tired, worn out, or completely exhausted? Let me encourage you to rest with Jesus. He wants to refresh your body and restore your soul.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Kira Bridges is pursuing joy by seeking the life God intended for us. She blogs at Joy Pursued, sharing lessons learned and resources to help women move fully into the joyful life God has waiting for them. Living in the sunny part of Oregon with her husband, daughter, and two dogs; Kira believes living with joy is a lifelong journey and would love for you to join her. You can hang out with her on Facebook, Instagram, or follow along on Pinterest.