I have struggled most of my life to rest. Scurrying around, I have been too busy trying to accomplish and achieve. I have pushed my life to the limit until I would literally crash into depression. I suffered from panic attacks and high blood pressure and was told by my doctor if I didn’t fix my stress level, I would be headed to an early grave. To top it off, I was in the prime time of life, my mid-twenties.
photo by: KCNewman Photography
Slowly, but surely God has healed my life. I no longer suffer from panic attacks and my blood pressure is extremely healthy. Though I still need to fight to keep rest a priority, I now know why rest is so difficult, which makes it beatable. If you are struggling to rest, make sure these 4 things are not out of alignment.
- Trust. I struggle to trust God. If we are honest, most of us need to grow in this area of trusting God. I would focus on, “when, how and why” instead of just trusting Him and taking a step. Micro-analyzing and tiring your mind out is a sign of not trusting God. When you are missing peace and joy, you aren’t trusting God.
Trust with God is expanded through prayer, studying His Word, picking up His thoughts, and the love of a close brother or sister in Christ. If you are struggling to rest, it may be a sign of a lack of trust in God.
- Boundaries. Without proper boundaries, it is impossible to rest. We must have time of activity, but we must have time of rest built into our lives. Boundaries to insure proper sleep and to make sure we are observing times of quietness. In the world we live in, it is even more important to set boundaries. Technology has not made this easier. We live in an age where almost anything we want is at our fingertips. We must have points in the day away from technology.
Removing distractions and turning off technology is a necessary step to bring rest back to our lives. You must have a game plan to follow or life will swallow up every second. Make sure that proper boundaries are in place so you can get the rest that you need.
- Loss of Gratitude. When we don’t rest, we are missing a piece of gratitude. Throughout our lives there will be a gap from where we are and where we want to be. This is a great thing when it is healthy, however, it turns into poison when we lust after what God has not given us yet. Our desires can quickly turn into the cancer of our lives when not put in check.
The more you try and control things outside of your control, the more control you are giving it. You cannot control God’s timing. Give control of the gap time between where you are and where you want to be back to God. You can have peace on the journey while having gratitude with where you are and how far God has taken you. Contentment and peace return when gratitude comes back to our lives.
- Mask. For years I hid from everyone afraid to admit my sin and failure. Afraid to admit my lack of trust in God. Masking and hiding our lives at the root, is a lack of trusting God or man. In all actuality it is usually a lack of trust in both. Our relationship with man effects our relationship with God and vice versa. This leads to an unauthentic life and one that is a shell of what we are meant to live.
If you do not have authenticity built into your life, it is impossible to rest. The masks we wear leads to a Pharisee’s view point. We need to knock others down so that we don’t feel as bad about our hidden sin. The only way to defeat this unauthentic cover up is to let God and others into these places that we hide. It is not easy to begin to trust others, but it is necessary to a healthy life.
In the end, a lack of rest is a clear sign of us trying to make something happen instead of allowing God to work. God will give you what you need when you need it. Life being led by Christ is alive and uncommon. It is bold and courageous and it is the bringer of life. Allow Christ into the areas that you are protecting and guarding and rest will return to your soul. Deep healing is not easy and does not happen overnight. It is worth it though. Be blessed on your journey.
Do you struggle to rest?
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