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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Rest: the privilege of grace

This morning I woke up, and I realized I had a choice. I could get out of bed or I could work, but I didn’t seem to have the emotional strength to do both. I did what was logical since I am a creative freelancer. I wrote in bed. Rest and work at one time. How nice.

Recently God gave me the direction to rest. November and December have been beautiful months of emotional and spiritual rest. It took something like six weeks before God was like, “Okay, now you can sleep. It will actually help you.” Before that, physical rest would have only been avoiding the emotional healing which needed to take place. I don’t mind that I get to rest extra now. I was pretty worn down. I needed a lot of time in silence and with Him to be built up again.

Slowly it has happened. Honestly, two months ago I thought that by now I would be bouncing off the walls looking for things to do. It turns out I am writing this un-showered and in bed because it seemed much more restful to me than getting up. Under every layer of rest, there seems to be a new layer of tired that needs resting.

Somewhere along the way, I planned a trip to California to visit my grandparents in January. “Oh, good,” Gramma said, “Does this mean you won’t be crashing this time?” “Well, maybe a little,” I said. I think there will be another layer of rest that is needed about that time.

After I got off the phone with my Gramma, I thought about what she said. I felt a little bad that my trips to visit were always “crashing”. I also thought of the last three trips I have made over the course of the last four years. I realized each time I visited I was more rested than on the previous visit. In fact, it seems like I could tell the entire story of my learning to follow Jesus by simply telling you how He has taught me to rest and where I have learned to find rest.

Life is so different under grace where one does not have to work really hard to prove how good they are. Learning to live under grace is like simply learning to rest. Wasn’t it Jesus who promised? “Come to me all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

I think learning to rest is about learning to accept my brokenness, but it is also about learning that He is my provider. I am not my provider. He is. This all got easier for me a few years ago when I read Leviticus and realized God had instructed the Israelites to either rest in some form or party in some form on 20% – 33% of days depending on how you counted it. I decided I needed to rest and party more. Having been raised Dutch and with a Puritan work ethic, it’s been a journey; but apparently a successful one since I have made it all the way to working from bed. It’s just logical if you ask me.

I thought this was a bright, new idea I had, but then a week or two ago I decided to see what I was blogging about last year at this time. It turns out that I was blogging about grace and rest then too. I don’t seem to retain the lessons God teaches me very well. It is a good thing He asks me to follow Him day by day. At least I keep following Him in spite of my forgetfulness.

Rest for the weary. Strength for the weak. I like my God.

Now I am going to sign off so I can rest some spiritually and emotionally before taking an eight-hour nap to rest physically, but I have learned one other thing about rest in the last few weeks:

Resting and being idle are two vastly different things. Resting is productive. Being idle is destructive. But that, perhaps, is an article for another time.

Come to me, all who are weary… – Jesus

Do you rest well? Do you know how to tell when you need spiritual and emotional rest versus physical rest?


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