Trusting, Resting, and Praising - Serenity in Suffering

As I mentioned in my last post, God spoke to my heart about intentionally incorporating REST into my life this summer in answer to prayer. What I thought seemed an easy lesson turned into a four part series. Even more incredible, God opened my eyes to the relationship between rest and trust. Exploring the relationship between trusting, resting and praising brought new life to my walk with Him.

Welcome to Mindfulness Monday! Where we learn some easy ways to be more present “in the moment” at our jobs, in our homes, with our families and friends. Learning to recognize God and what He has for us in each divine moment He offers. We acknowledge the belief that God is with us always. We confess His presence is available to us, lifting our spirit and helping us with power and grace. Learning to “be still”, so we can hear His voice and view ourselves, others and our surroundings through His eyes.

trusting the rest

As the Lord gently guided me through a better understanding of intentional rest, my comprehension of trust richly increased. Uniquely, trust flows from a place of rest, but rest also flows from a place of trust. Such simplicity from a seeming paradox characterizes the upside down Kingdom of God! “O the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Romans 11:33)

Cautiously incorporating habits of rest into my regular schedule, yielded unexpected results: more resting = more being = more doing. My faulty process of pushing through, refusing any opportunity for rest until everything stood completed led not only to lower productivity, but physical, emotional and spiritual depletion. Enter trusting, resting and praising.

my step into sabbath rest

Witnessing the death of my “work before rest” mantra, as I took baby steps towards daily intentional rest led to a bigger step into the realm of release. Committing a full day or sabbath rest into my week became the next challenge.

Sunday seemed the easiest day for my plunge into committing an entire day for rest, as I work full time, plus it offered me a day of full refreshment prior to the start of a new week. No hard and fast rules applied except no social media, internet, housework or writing.

Sounds simple, but for me, it required tremendous trust; most of the writing for my blog and other publication efforts happen exclusively on the weekend; giving up essentially half my weekend almost sent me into a panic.

backyard pond reflecting stone planter of purple flowers

The Paradox of Rest

Blessed beyond measure on the very first Sunday, though “behind schedule” on my editorial calendar; stepping into Monday trusting God with the details felt natural. At the end of the first week, I not only completed my writing obligations, I wrote an additional article for a possible guest blog submission.

God blessed in other responsibility areas, leaving me both astonished at the paradox of rest and ashamed for resisting so long. Taking inventory, my accomplishment oriented heart rejoiced in actually achieving more in six days than I previously achieved in seven.

trusting god’s example for rest

I imagine a gentle, knowing laugh from God at my utter wonderment in the benefits of a sabbath rest. He created the entire universe in six days, resting on the seventh; finding no need for an additional “work day”.

God demonstrated rest is good; creating the entire universe without constant work. Reminding me, constant work for the accomplishment of my responsibilities, service for the kingdom or completing a God given task is unnecessary.

trusting rest is good

While sabbath rest has many benefits, the New Testament requires no sabbath command. Incorporating periods of intentional rest, however, offers opportunities for enjoying the fruit of our labors as well as the good things God provides for us.

God rested on the seventh day, not out of fatigue, but as a day He consecrated, enjoying all He made. Choosing the addition of a sabbath day to my intentional rest periods required my trusting God with the completion of all of my responsibilities, service and deadlines. Liberating me to enjoy all of the good things God places in my life.

woman's bare feet in green grass with white daises next to cup of coffee, trusting, resting ans praising

trusting leads to praise

Pursuing rest challenges me to a deeper level of trust as I relinquish control of my schedule to God. God holds sovereignty over my moments and days; whether mundane responsibilities, ministry or a specific task designated by Him.

As I acknowledge His sovereignty over each of these areas, I also recognize though He may choose me for a specific task, my constant work is not needed for its completion. Resulting in my ability to close my laptop, turn off my phone, walk away from housework and enjoy Him.

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.

Psalm 65:8

Trusting, resting and praising create an interwoven garment inter-dependent upon one another. As I lean into trusting God by choosing intentional rest, positioning myself for enjoying God’s good things, praise flows forth in gratitude.

Mindfully choosing to rest

Enjoying God and benefiting from intentional rest provides great opportunities for practicing mindful awareness of God’s Presence in our days. While trusting, resting and praising looks different for each of us, the goal is the same: stepping back from distractions and demands, facilitating the enjoyment of God and his blessings in our lives.

dissent from distractions

Create boundaries for the distractions in your life.

white tea pot with pink rose, matching cup and daucer, white pitcher vase with dried wheat, mantle clock on wooden table
  • Parent your phone. At the very least turn off all notifications: do you really need to know every like, comment or post the second it appears on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest? Do you really need to receive breaking news notifications or weather changes? Consider putting your phone “to bed” by turning it OFF one or two hours before bedtime.
  • Schedule Entertainment. Create boundaries for the consumption of visual entertainment. Set time limits or designate specific days for entertainment. Instead of binge watching your favorite show, schedule the time, you may find you enjoy it more, anticipating the next “viewing date.”
  • Schedule Downtime. Create boundaries for personal downtime. Whether an hour after arriving home from work before jumping into evening activities, time after the kids go to bed or another appropriate time slot, ruthlessly guard this time. Allowing everyone access to you all the time leaves no time for recharging. By scheduling downtime you actually become more available to loved ones.

relinquish responsibilities

A great test for determining your trust in God’s sovereignty over your schedule is your willingness to rest.

  • Step away. Whether for a day, an evening or an hour, step away from your regular responsibilities. Take time off from work, allow someone else to do the housework, yardwork or car pooling, or simply skip a particular responsibility for a designated time period.
  • Scale back. Sometimes we take on more than necessary or go above and beyond the parameters of a responsibility. Can you attend fewer meetings? Scale a house or yard project back? Change a deadline? Commit to fewer children’s activities this week?

Kairos: When Eternity Steps into Time, Allowing God to Inhabit the Present Moment

DM Bucher

treasure time

Leave the dictatorial presence of chronos time: the measured, quantitative propelling of time and embrace kairos time. Kairos time is the qualitative deep time without measure where past and present merge into the moment called “now”. Kairos time experienced in deep exhales, laughter or the colors of the sunset transcends the bars of chronos time.

bistro table set for two large brown basket of purple flowers
  • Nurture Your Relationship with God. Enjoy moments in nature, connect with God in His creation. Write a thank you note to God for His goodness to you today or this week. Bless the Lord by reading Psalm 103 out loud, making it personal.
  • Nurture Your Relationship with Others. Truly engage with your spouse, family or friends. Treasuring time with them shows gratitude to God for the gift of relationship in your life; building connection within the relationship.
  • Nurture an Attitude of Praise. Free from the constraint of constant work, enjoy every good and perfect gift from the Father of light. Enjoy your home, good food, conveniences of life, and the things God blesses you with.

trusting resting and praising

As we trust God’s sovereingty over our schedules we move from constant work to intentional rest. From a place of rest we see all of God’s manifold works in our lives and move into praise. Praise deepens our intimacy with God, and cultivates a spirit of gratitude in every area of our lives.

Creating a mindful attitude of trusting, resting and praising, releases us from the cruel taskmaster of time; offering instead freedom of enjoyment in the present. As we release our claim on constant work, choosing rest for body, mind and spirit we fully experience God and His good and perfect gifts in our lives.

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