One of the things I love about God is that He makes a way for rest. Rest is something He values so strongly. He wants His kids to know how to rest, and to teach us how to rest He will make room for it. Often, it’s in the inconvenient things that God teaches us to rest.
I remember when I was in grade 11; I was driven by assignments, deadlines and getting things done perfectly. In one particular term, I got very tired and just needed rest but I didn’t realise it. On a Thursday, I went to the school library and for some reason I borrowed out the next book in a series I was reading, even though I hadn’t finished the one I was up to. The next day, I woke up with a flu and stayed home from school. It was inconvenient, considering I had things to do at school, but it was timely.
It even made me laugh that for some reason I had borrowed out that book, meaning when I finished the first book on that day, I was already set up with another book to snuggle under the covers and read. For some reason, I remember that day with a lot of peace and fondness. I think it’s because through that day of being sick, God made room for me to rest.
That moment was a learning curve for me in understanding how God works out the little things and times everything just right for us to rest when we need it.
A recent resting point
Another one of those days happened for me a couple weeks back. Here in Queensland where I live, there was a cyclone up north. As the cyclone lessened and travelled down south it resulted in our area getting a month of rain in a day. Due to the severe weather that was predicted, I didn’t travel my usual four-hour round trip into the city to go to university. Instead, I stayed home and had a day of watching movies and resting.
At first, I felt torn. I had so many things I needed to do, classes to attend, lecturers to talk to. But, the severe weather meant that if I went I wouldn’t have been able to get home due to flash flooding. To top it off, that night we lost power and didn’t get it back until midday the next day. Once again, very inconvenient.
I was waiting and hoping for the power to come back on and just getting frustrated the longer we went without it. However, the moment I accepted that we weren’t going to get power back anytime soon, the experience changed.
I went to bed and woke up the next morning feeling more refreshed than I had in a while. It was silent and all I could hear was the wind blowing through the trees outside. It was in that moment that I realised how much I had needed the power to go out, how much I needed the silence.
When busyness takes charge
Since starting university I had been running here and there and doing so many things at once. My mind was in a constant state of noise and activity. With the power out and no internet, suddenly things felt still and I didn’t feel the need to accomplish everything.
The storm had pushed away the humidity and so I sat on our front patio listening to the wind and cherishing the crisp autumn breeze that had finally come. As a bonus, due to my classes being cancelled I also got extensions on some assignments.
I just love that God is aware of when I need rest. He loves me enough to make a way for me to rest, even when I’m unaware of it and don’t ask for it. Although I still had essays to finish and things to do when the power went back on, that stillness from those couple hours of forced rest stayed with me. When we choose to rest when we need it, it becomes part of our routine and it begins to get easier to stay in a place of a refreshed heart and mind.
I love that God values rest and I love that we can value it too. Sometimes I think we are afraid of the silence because we get our value from the busyness. God loves us enough to value us even when there’s silence and no activity.
Rest isn’t a bad thing. Rest is what we need.
Caitlyn Furler is a lover of writing, music and people. She is a first-year university student, studying music and literature. She is a worship leader in her church and is enjoying doing braver and braver things.
Caitlyn Furler’s previous articles may be viewed at: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/caitlyn-furler.html