I’m so grateful for godly women God has put in my life that I look up to and admire. Deanna Wood is one of those women. The more I get to know Deanna, the more I respect her. She has a heart for God and is a vessel to be used for His purpose. I’m thrilled to have my sweet friend, Deanna share on the blog today. Enjoy.
A few months ago I started seeing a new chiropractor in the hopes of finding relief from the latest gift being over 40 has handed me . . . ringing in the ears. Knowing TMJ might be the culprit, I thought a jaw adjustment might help. Finally, after x-rays and testing and waiting weeks to get a diagnosis, this is what he said:
Seriously, Captain Obvious? Let go? Of course, I need to let go. Who doesn’t need to let go? But that wasn’t going to silence the bells in my head. . . was it?
He went on to explain that, according to my stress tests, my system for stress-coping was completely maxed out. Because I wasn’t being intentional about enabling that system to recuperate daily, it couldn’t take any more and the overload was wreaking havoc on my body. On my jaw, back, neck, ears, brain, sleep . . .
Purposeful rest. Not the sleep kind of rest. The kind of rest that we as a culture almost never do. It’s intentional time set aside where you stop and breathe deeply and do exercises that train muscles to turn loose and the brain to let go.
I’d always known that relaxing was good for you. That’s pretty much common sense. But now it seemed that I needed to actually “work out” that relaxation, and that it was more than just good for me – it was necessary for my well-being. Not the extra I’d always thought it was, but an essential, like any number of vitamins and minerals my body needs in order to operate properly. Without it, things just break down.
Eventually it occurred to me, hadn’t God been saying this all along? Isn’t His word to us full of demonstrations that we should “rest in Him?”
From the beginning, the Father made it clear:
“ . . . and he rested on the seventh day from all his work . . . “ Gen 2:2
“Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest . . . “ Exodus 23:12
“Be still and know that I am God . . . “ Psalm 46:10.
“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14.
And Christ continued it:
“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31
“ . . . Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.
And these are just a few of the many scriptures about rest.
Maybe all this time God hasn’t only been telling us to “rest in Him” because it’s something that keeps us focused on Him. Maybe it’s also because rest is something our bodies were designed to need in order to function. Like air or water.
What if resting in Him is more than just another thing to do – what if it enables us to do all the other things?
Intentionally stopping throughout each day to pray, to absorb scripture, to just sit quietly and marvel at His works and His love for me, to breathe – perhaps these do more than refuel my soul. Perhaps they also heal my body, allowing it to recover from the stress of the day, the worries of this life, the chaos of this world. And God, who made me that way, has been telling me that all along.
Perhaps this ringing in my ears is more of a wake-up alarm than alarming.
And maybe it’s time I started to listen.