When was the last time you felt truly rested? I’ve noticed that most people these days have no idea how to rest, and I’ve heard of so many people being diagnosed with fatigue related health issues. It’s becoming more and more common to hear about burn out and I honestly don’t know many people who practice a true sabbath. I think part of the problem is having access to work at our fingertips and emails coming through to our phones every day. However, I think an even bigger problem is that many people don’t understand the season they’re in. I don’t just mean season of life like the difference between being single or being a first-time parent. I’m talking about the metaphorical spiritual seasons that we ebb and flow through life in.
Why Seasons Matter
So many of us have lost a sense of seasons because we aren’t operating in an agricultural culture. In Ecclesiastes 3:1 it says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” It’s so important that we understand what season we’re in, or we will judge ourselves against the work that others are producing in very different seasons than ourselves. If we don’t know the season we’re in we also run the risk of putting our energy in places that won’t produce good fruit. A farmer wouldn’t attempt to grow fruit in winter. It just wouldn’t work. He’d be putting his efforts towards something that the season wasn’t going to work with him in, and likely he’d end up with dead fruit. When you think about the harvest season, it’s something a farmer works hard towards for months of time, but he only has a few days to get the fruit from the trees. He’ll work 24/7 to get everything done in that time. But how are those few days of 24/7 work sustainable? By resting in the winter.
That’s why in the metaphoric winters of your life you must rest, or you won’t have the needed energy in the harvest. So many people are living in a performance driven culture and have lost a value for rest. Maybe we even find our value in being busy and filling up our schedules. I believe in hard work, but I also know there are seasons when we are called to rest, shout grace, and emphasize God’s work in our lives. Other times we’re sitting around waiting for God to show up and do something, but He’s actually asking us to get up and do something with Him.
Reality of Rest
The reality of rest is that it doesn’t just “happen” to you. You have to guard it and therefore value it. I think this starts with our mindsets and understanding that every season has a purpose. If you’re in a winter season but are comparing yourself to someone who is harvesting, you may find yourself striving to keep up. The truth is that we were designed to need rest; that’s why God commanded us to sabbath. Remember that even He rested on the seventh day after creating the world. Rest looks like knowing your season and living in the grace God has given to you in that season. It also looks like acceptance of the place and time you’re in, and choosing not to worry about the harvest seasons to come. So once we understand the beauty of taking a break and owning our winter seasons, it’s important that we camp out there until the shift to the new season comes. Soak up every good gift that comes with the winter; the quiet, the coziness, unwinding and slowing down. Don’t let other people determine your rest based on their needs, or you’ll be worn out again before you know it.
So, is God asking you to rest in this season? Or is He asking you to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and work? Lean into Holy Spirit to show you your season, and camp out there until He moves you on to something new. Today I pray that the refreshing breath of God would blow over you and fill you to a point of overflow. I pray that any weight you’re carrying that is not for you to bear would fall off of your shoulders. I speak clarity over your spirit for the season that God has you in, and grace to receive every good thing He has for you in this time. Is it hard for you to take a break? How do you work through that? I’d love to hear your thoughts and advice in the comments!