Written by Heather Larson
For the past few years I have run almost everyday around four miles a day. When people hear this, they have a variety of responses. Those who are not runners find me somewhere between crazy and impressive. The real runners have a different perspective. They often inquire about my lack of days off or if I try any alternative exercise. I should have listened to these experienced runners warnings to have days off for rest, but I didn’t.
Even when my own body started sending signals of pain that I might need to take some time to rest, I kept running. I started by just ignoring the pain, hoping it would just go away. Then I began looking at ways to blame the pain on something else; perhaps it was from running on the ice and snow. Finally, I had to admit that the pain was not getting better and I needed to stop and rest.
I don’t think I’m alone when it comes to pushing through the warning signs or signals that I need rest in other areas of my life too. It is easy to keep pushing ahead thinking there will be rest in the future. I can blame my over extended schedule on outside commitments or activities I’ve said “yes” to; my job, my kids activities, my volunteer work.
This isn’t the pace that God created me to run. He is a God who values rest. He began by modeling it at the beginning of creation. Knowing my stubborn need to keep moving, He even gives me a command to take a Sabbath day of rest! Through rest, God promises to restore me in Psalm 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Rest: to take relief or respite, peace of mind, freedom from activity or labor. Restore: to replace; to renew or revive; to return.
Where do you need rest in your life? What are the warning signs? Don’t wait. Rest now. Be restored.