Updated: May 14, 2020
For a wonderful season I had the privilege of going to a yoga class 3 times a week. It was called Yahweh Yoga. Funny name, great class. As we started the class our teacher gave a short devotion. We then proceeded to stretch and strengthen the bodies God has given us while listening to music that helped lead us to worship Him. We finished challenging our bodies with a cool down as our teacher prayed over us. She always ended with one phrase: “our practice is over, but you are free to stay and rest as long as you like.”
I love that. “Stay and rest as long as you like”.
That one phrase reminds me of how God loves us. We have been invited into rest. Rest from striving to please, striving to measure up, striving to fit into a box in which we can never fit. Even in the middle of difficult times, in His presence there is rest.
I am an introvert. I am energized by time alone. I seriously love a day of quiet all by my lonesome. That time, that rest, wakes me up and stirs up the passions and dreams that brew below the surface. THAT! is a time of rest. I used to think a quiet day alone was the only way I could achieve the “rest” God talks about in the Bible. I have been learning rest also comes from…
~Finding ways to take care of the body I have been given- in sweet sleep, enjoying foods that promote health, and finding a way of moving that energizes.
~Making meaningful connections with those around me and finding a safe place to be known.
~Doing the things that “stir my affections for Christ”, to quote Matt Chandler.
~Finding the things God put in me that makes me so uniquely, well…me! And then allowing others to see who I really am.
~Learning something new, speaking truth, and listening to truth!
My time WILL be filled with something, I have to consciously pursue these life-giving areas. I believe that by carving out space to engage these spheres of life, I am practicing walking with and loving God. He told us that the greatest thing we can do is love Him with all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind, and all of our strength. This completely bowls me over! The Creator God, worthy of all worship, has designed me in such a way that as I love Him as He has asked, I receive true rest! Oh, He is so good. I know that when I am truly rested it is SO much easier for me to love those around me. Hey! That sounds pretty important. The two most important things that God asks of me are so beautifully woven together. Everything I have, enjoy, or hope for belongs to and comes from Him. As I let go of my death grip and trust His goodness, I find rest. The more I see this life as a stewardship and as an offering of love, the more I step out, see more clearly, and love more freely. That is true rest.