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What is God’s Rest?

by Lisa Manning on February 24, 2014

Its time to RestOften times, women (and men) run through life at what I call the “Frantic Panic.”  There is always somewhere to be, someone to call, and something to do.  I must confess…this used to be my MO (Method of Operation) for years!  I kept myself busy beyond belief.  My friends even nicknamed me the Duracell Bunny because I always had a project and never sat still.  What typically happened is that I would go, and go, and go until I hit what my husband called “the wall.”  At that point, I became utterly useless to anyone for about 24-48 hours.  I would get so tired I could hardly function.

I continued at this pace for many years, from college until my early 40’s.  Even a trip to an Endocrinologist, who told me my adrenal system was shutting down, didn’t slow the frenzy.  When I was 41 years old, that changed.  I went to my OBGYN for my annual exam in tears.  I explained that I truly thought I was losing my mind and probably really sick.  I described all my symptoms, trying not to snort because I was crying so hard.  I hadn’t even revealed these “dark secrets” to my husband because I was so fearful of what was happening.  The nurse practitioner put her arms around me and let me cry.  Then, she asked a few questions, smiled and said, “I think you are in menopause.”

EXCUSE ME???  Menopause? 

The stress of my life had caused me to go into an early menopause (yes, I just told the entire world that.  Insert red face here!).  It took me a few months to process that.  I cried a lot, felt sorry for myself and then resigned that I was going to have to figure out how to move forward and not be stuck.  I will spare you all the silly things I tried because though some helped slightly, none were super efficient in making me feel better.

The only thing that worked for me was REST.  Not just any rest, but God’s rest.  Physical rest is crucial for our body’s to work well.  My journey into rest led me to realize that often, we haven’t entered God’s rest so therefore, we cannot have good physical rest.  

The Bible talks about rest in many places:

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.  Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.  Hebrews 4:9-11 

My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.  Is 32:18   

In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.  Is. 11:10  

God gave His people many different types of rest:

  • Rest from Labor:  “Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest. ~ Exodus 34:21
  • Rest of the Land:  …then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. ~ Lev. 26:34 (Also, Nehemiah 10:31)
  • Rest from Finances:  At the end of every seven years you shall grant a remission of debts. This is the manner of remission: every creditor shall release what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother, because the LORD’S remission has been proclaimed.… ~ Deut. 15:1
  • Rest from War:  Then the land had rest from war. ~ Josh 14:15
  • Rest from Enemies: As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies… ~ Esther 9:22 (and Deut. 12:10)

What is REST?

When I ask you to define rest, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?  It is probably the word “Sleep.”  While rest can include sleep, that isn’t necessarily the key component.  

Dictionary.com has 5 definitions listed.  If you encompass all of them, the definition would look something like this:  

A period of inactivity, repose, or solitude that that will result in refreshing, mental or spiritual calm, tranquility, relief or freedom, especially from anything that wearies, troubles or disturbs. 

Here is a key word I want you to see…FREEDOM.  Taking time to rest will result mental, physical and spiritual calm but it also leads you to freedom.  

~ Freedom from worrying because you begin to let go of your problems and give them to God to handle.

~ Freedom from stress and related health problems.

~ Freedom from sin because being tired and weary often leads us to places we should never go.

~ Freedom to have a better relationship with God.

~ Freedom to walk through difficult times with complete peace.

And so much more!

The year of 2103 was an extremely difficult year for our family.  My husband’s mother had been living with us for almost 3 years.  Early in the year, she had a stroke which led us to find out that she had terminal lung and brain cancer.  We took care of her in our home until she passed.  In addition, our marriage was struggling to survive.  The rest of the year was filled with twists and turns that can only be described as difficult.  In the midst of all the difficulties, however, my heart was at rest.  I was in the center of God’s rest throughout the year and although mournful and struggling, I had peace.  The remainder of this 5 part series will show you how to have God’s rest and maintain this kind of peace despite the challenges you may be enduring. 

In Part 2, we will explore the importance of Rest in our lives. Until then,

God’s Blessings to you!




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