Rest is Dead, Long Live Rest

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2014 is still twitching. If any of us still used checks, we’d be scratching the “4” into a “5.” I have dairy products in my refrigerator that sport ’14 as the year it should have burst into flames, but it’s probably okay. Scrape that part off.

My word of the year for 2014 was REST. I wasn’t a fan when it was presented because it indicated I’d have a trip around the sun devoid of progress. I worried it meant something was looming and I needed to go to bed early, like a child facing a big tomorrow. God’s voluminous sleeves. There is always something up there shaped perfectly to refine, restore, redeem. Eventually, I ran with REST and discovered a deep, rich word.

Rest in the hope of salvation: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV

Rest in perfect love:But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

Rest as an act of trust; waiting: “I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5 NIV

Rest as an act of worship:Return to your rest, my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.” Psalm 116:7 NIV

Rest for my body, mind, and spirit in the literal sense—being more mindful of honoring quiet downtime: “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for he grants sleep to those he loves.” Psalm 127:2 NIV


Along the way, I was encouraged in unlikely ways. For example, I had to leave my family for an extended period to help my mom after she had an accident. There were many times when I had to leap into service at a moment’s notice. The overwhelming majority of the time, I spent in thought, reflection, sleep. I read, wrote, and took photos. I found that manifestation of service was physically demanding and humbling. It was quieting and profound when she was settled and at peace. I’ve never had rest like that, even as I cared for newborns through long nights and finally crashed.

I suspect rest will remain prominent as I continue to study this year’s word, obey. Obedience is not about charming Jesus into thinking I am such a good girl. It’s not about assuring my salvation through works. It’s about embracing a childlike faith, laying aside the conceits, prejudices, and destructive pride. A quieted, well-rested child learns best.


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