Stay Restful My Friends

Resting has never come naturally to me. I don’t know what it is, but I have trouble staying still and ‘taking it easy.’ If there is something that sounds exciting to do… Let’s do it! My natural tendency to ‘go’ has me thinking of what to do and what’s next. Why sit around and do nothing when there’s a world of opportunity to be a part of?

Why there is a time for movement and the excitement that comes with it, this same type of thinking that can lead to tiredness, unrest, and eventually burnout. As I write, I am on vacation for a week with one primary goal in mind – to relax. Oh and don’t worry, writing isn’t something that ‘stresses me out’… I look forward to writing what the Lord has put on my heart! Plus, it helps me be in a restful place for a short period of time. As Valerie and I have had the few days so far to de-stressed (the couple’s massage really helped with that one!), we wanted to make sure that we get the necessary time to ourselves to rest so we can be recharged when we come back to the real world.

Reflecting on our lives and what we do make me realize how awful I am at being intentional with rest. I am finding out more and more that resting needs to become a lifestyle, not simply an activity that I squeeze in if I’m lucky. Rest is also not only sleep or taking a power nap, but as Merriam-Webster puts it, to ‘cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.’ I am not scheduling in enough time for rest so I can be strengthened. Instead, I feel that I am going from one activity to the next, and one place to another.

How do you intentionally place rest in your week? If you already got it down… great! I’d love to hear your responses in the comments below so we can learn helpful times on how to live restfully. Yet if you’re like me, then let’s look at these 3 tips together on how to rest well.


I already described how hard this one is for me, but I know it can be done! Psalm 46:10 describes this beautifully, “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

There is a time for activity that we get to see the Lord and His people at work. This is good as the Body of Christ is supposed to excel in the spiritual gifts that He has given each and every person. There is also a time for stillness that takes us deeper into His heart. No matter how hard one attempts at doing works for the Lord, there is no substitution for being present with the Lord. None. The only way we can know God is to be still before Him. The Hebrew word for know is ‘yada’, which is the same word describing an intimate relationship between a husband and wife.[1] Therefore, to know God is more than an intellectual, factual, and seemingly distant level – No, it’s to know Him on an intimate, personal, relational level. That means we do what we would do with any human relationship when it comes to knowing someone… we spend time with him or her. With the Lord, it’s the same thing. We carve out time to read His Word since that was written for us. We lift up our concerns in prayer. We schedule a time to be with Him and through the Holy Spirit, learn to hear what He is saying back to us. All of this is done through being still. Having a restful disposition. Quieting your soul. For myself, I best write these entries when I can be in a restful place so that the words flow out of me. It is tiring and forceful when I have to write in anxiousness and focusing on the task at hand. As we rest in Him, He can and will speak to us the marvelous things that He will do as being ‘exalted in the earth.’


How many times have we said ‘yes’ to something and then we find out that we can’t go? This probably happens more than we realize. I used to get in a lot of trouble with Valerie on this exact issue – I would schedule something in and tell Valerie about it later. Next thing I know I accidentally scheduled something we already had plans for! Geez! Thanks to Google calendar, where we can sync our appointments to our phones, I’m sure I saved our relationship from many future headaches and arguments (and if you’re in a relationship and haven’t done so yet, please do the same!)  

Although we’ve improved on our own schedule as a couple, we found that we have too much going on. My challenge for us and for you in this is to say ‘No’ more often. You may be saying, “How am I supposed to do that? Won’t that person’s feelings be hurt?”

If I don’t say ‘no’ more often, then I cannot say ‘yes’ to the things that the Lord may be leading me to. There are a lot of good things to do, and those are not bad in themselves. Then again, what if the Holy Spirit wants me to be refreshed and rested so that I can do the one thing He is leading me to do with excellence? The last thing I would want is to be too exhausted doing several good things that I neglect what He really wants for me. I have to honor my time for the Lord so I can properly give to others. Otherwise, I’m operating on empty and trying to rely on my own strength to meet my busy lifestyle.

On a practical note, I can evaluate who I have seen recently and whom I haven’t. This can be regarding ministry appointments, friends, family members and new people you just met. Space out the appointments and keep a calendar so you do not become overwhelmed with too much in too short of time. For we should be people of integrity, keeping our word to meet and having enough energy and attention to be there for them. As in the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:37, “ “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” While this verse is regarding taking vows (and the need not to take them for your word is enough), our word should demonstrate trust with the person as having the character of Christ in us.


I LOVE WAITING… said no one ever! Waiting can be the worst when the trials are severe, the want is dire, and the timeframe is long overdue. No wonder another word for patience is long-suffering! Although we cognitively know that God always has the best plan and the timing for that plan, our hearts and our hands, can get carried away.

Here’s what I mean: sometimes we are not in a place of rest because we are in a place of trying to make it happen. Dreams don’t become a reality on their own, don’t they? That is why it is common to frantically push forward to get to the ‘dream job.’ The Los Angeleno culture is to keep moving and do more because you never know who you’ll meet, what appointment may click, and POOF – you’ve arrived!

There is nothing wrong with grinding it out to make your dreams a reality. I affirm this. But what if God has something else to say and you were too busy to listen? What if He wants to redirect your plans? What if in the fear of ‘missing out’, you missed out on what the Holy Spirit has for you next?

Even Jesus – as needed as He was for teaching, healing, and deliverance – would take time to be with His Father. “Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray” (Luke 5:16). Jesus was spending quality time with God, but I’m sure He was checking with the Lord His agenda for the day. Who are we to say that we are different? 

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” – Psalm 37:7 

If your prayer hasn’t happened yet, don’t give up! Be still and be patient. He has the perfect timing for you regarding what you are asking for.

If you are feeling left behind and everyone seems to be passing you up, rest in the Lord’s presence. Perhaps this is training ground for you and He will raise you up when He is ready.

 His timing is the absolute best timing, even if we cannot fathom how it will come about or when it will happen. If we rest in His presence, perhaps we will be more at peace with where we are at and even understand further about what we are seeking for the future.

There is a lot that we covered and just like you… I’m still trying to figure it out! I’d recommend sticking with one of the three to start. Which point do you feel the Holy Spirit is leading you to understand rest and model it better for your life? Or you can ask yourself this question, “How do you think your life could change for the better if you took more time to ‘be still’ and directed your attention to rest in the Lord’s presence?” Whatever you choose, I know that the Lord will be pleased as you take intentional steps in having more rest be in your life. For rest isn’t for your own benefit to simply relax, but it opens the door to truly knowing more of who our great God is.

[1] (For example, some translations still read Genesis 4:1 as “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD” (ESV version)


  1. It’s so funny that I’m reading this this morning. I was in a class, last night, and we were exploring this very thing.

    It is so vitally important that we learn these values in order to be effective in life and ministry. Andrew Murray’s book, “Waiting on God”, helped me during a very tough time in life and the ministry of NHCCC.

    To wait on God is to love and respect Him more and realize the great love and respect He has for you.


    • Cassandra,
      Sounds like a confirmation! I’m learning more and more the importance of rest so I will be effective in what the Lord has for me. I love that – ‘to wait on God is to love and respect Him more and realize the great love and respect He has for you.’ So true! Waiting on Him demonstrates trust and through that, I can have peace that He’s going to come through for me. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thank you for reminding me that BE STILL BEFORE THE LORD AND WAIT PATIENTLY FOR HIM ( Psalm 37:7) is what I have to do when I ask to our Lord Jesus to answer my prayers.
    I used to be very impatient that I wanted to fix and get things right away; and I didn’t stop or rest until I get it , and even think on waiting. That kind of attitude made me get tired all the time , not only physically but mentally and spiritually.
    However, when I confessed that the Lord Jesus is my Savior and Master , then He taught me that I’m not in control of anything in my life . He showed me that He is the one who knows what is good for me and that He always will answer my prayers in his perfect time because He loves me. He doesn’t want to see me tired of asking and praying, He just wants me to wait patiently to show me His power.

    • Johanna,
      What a beautiful testimony of how you, like so many of us, want things fixed right away – I think it is part of what makes us human! Yet surrendering control to God because He knows what is best for us is how we can continually be at peace and rest in His provision, direction, and purposes. I’m learning how to do this each day so I do not react in what I think is right, but I give my plans to the Lord which I know is right and He will guide me.

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