There are a lot of buzz words around the concept of resting -"unplug" "detach" "break" "escape". I have often used them myself because that is honestly how I feel sometimes. I love a movie-binging-ice-cream-snacking-good-old-fashioned-zone-out. But the concept of restorative REST seems to be a little different.
This week as I was thinking about "resting", I was reminded a verse in Psalm 62. "My soul finds rest in God alone". When I read it, two words stuck out to me: IN and ALONE. My bible school teachers have engrained in me the importance of prepostions and so I couldn't help but pay attention to the word IN . The Psalmist doesn't use UNDER, BESIDE, WITH but IN. The word IN implies that rather than unplugging and detaching ourselves from our thoughts, feelings, and lives, there is an actual act of plugging IN, resting IN, connecting IN, leaning IN to something else- to God.
And we find this rest in God ALONE. We will find true, nourishing rest in no other place. This is a statement of truth and not a dream or an ideal. It is a hope but also a statement of fact. What I think this verse is saying is that we won't find rest in our own minds, in our own do-it yourself remedies or the latest psychologically proven method - of which I am 100% guilty. I am always so tempted by whatever psychology tells me will fix anxiety, stress, fear, exhaustion, anger, etc. But the Bible says we find rest that we need by connecting IN with our creator, our sustainer, the lover of our soul and our giver of life.
And by plugging-in to something we are expecting to receive what we need from the great giver. This the God who loves us and knows what we need, in both the gift and the timing of it. I never quite understand how this works but as I grow as a follower of Jesus I am learning that doing what He asks, making space for Him is all I need to do. He will do the rest.
And so, in my desire to plug IN rather than OUT and to also mysteriously receive what I need- I began looking for an easy, low prep method that I could do with littles running around.
I found a method of bible study used by Navigator Ministries. It takes one verse of the bible and emphasizes a different word each time you read through the verse.
"MY souls finds rest in God alone."
"My SOUL finds rest in God alone."
"My soul FINDS rest in God alone."
I decided to try doing this at the beginning of quiet time in our daily routine. I set a 10 minute timer, found a comfortable position, opened my hands (getting my body in a position of receiving that which I need from God), closed my eyes, and worked through the verse- taking time to breath slowly as I did it and taking several slow breaths in between each recitation of the verse.
It would make an interesting post if I could say that I had some deep revelation and experience with God the first time. But nothing cataclysmic happened. And 10 minutes felt like a long time- I'm not going to lie. But I know it's the right thing to do. My spiritual muscles in this area are so weak and being still in the day was a welcomed addition.
I managed to work this into my life three times this week. And I have been praying through Psalm 62. The Psalms are a good place to start as the verses are short and the words are rich. And there is a rich and ancient Christian tradition of praying the Psalms. When you do it, you are among great saints and friends.
So that's it for me this week. I think I have found something that works and I would love to hear things that work for you.