Two years ago, I sat overwhelmed, drowning in some happy circumstances. (what a dichotomy) I had just released my first cookbook, The Living Table, and was so excited. One might even say that it was a mountaintop experience for me, yet I found myself in a place where I was alone, surrounded by people, sad when I should be happy, and more involved in my church and community than ever before, but I didn’t feel seen. That was until I took a moment to find solitude, I needed a new kind of rhythm. Rhythms of Rest.
“Let him who cannot be alone beware of community… Let him, who is not in the community, beware of being alone. Each by itself has profound perils and pitfalls. One who wants fellowship without solitude plunges into the void of words and feelings. The one who seeks solitude without fellowship perishes in the abyss of vanity, self-infatuation, and despair.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I had spent so long building my community and bringing people in that I missed out on a significant part of my life; solitude with the Lord. Whenever we read in scripture of something miraculous happening, it isn’t too long after that we read of Jesus escaping to the wilderness. For what?
Solitude with God.
It is essential for us to focus on Jesus and rest in His presence. This need for solitude is why my 2023 will be a year marked with REST. We are a culture in constant unrest and constantly searching for the next best thing for rest.
Day in and day out, we are told to focus on ourselves and put ourselves first; we need better mental health, to work out more, enjoy shopping therapy, etc. But what happens in that space is when we feed on ourselves, the more unhappy and restless we become.
So, what is rest? How do we create rhythms of rest? What does it look like biblically?
If you read the creation story in Genesis and get to Day 7, God blessed the seventh day and made it holy and God rested from all the work He had done in creation. This is where the rhythm of rest begins and what many know as the spiritual practice of Sabbath.
However, the seventh day was never meant to end. Did you read where it said there was evening and morning on the seventh day? I believe God left it open-ended so we could sit with Him forever. He was ushering in the space in which God desired to live with his people, us, forever.
The days for God didn’t start over; the work ended on the seventh day! Creation was meant to live in rest with its Creator forever.
We should find moments of rest in the rhythms of life every single week. Prioritizing moments like prayer walks, waking up early for solitude with Christ, and resting different parts of our body (eyes, words, mind, etc.) can open an encounter with God, where you experience Him in a new way.
There is no perfect way to rest; that is not the important part of the Sabbath. It’s about choosing to rest in the perfect Jesus.
This year, I encourage you to practice the rhythm of rest. A type of rest that will train your mind to focus on the truths of Jesus over the loud and incessant voices of the chaos in our world.
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