In chapter nine of It’s No Secret, author Rachel Olsen talks about rest. Our bodies need physical rest, whether it’s getting to bed on time, sleeping in, or taking an occasional nap. When sleep is in short supply, it affects everything from my personality, to my relationships, to what I do and don’t accomplish. My energy level is low, my concentration is lacking, and my patience is non-existent.
But have you ever felt like you’re caught up on sleep and something is still missing? Something you can’t quite put your finger on?
I’ve been learning the importance of spiritual rest—personal quiet time spent with God. Time when I set everything else aside and focus on talking to and hearing from God.
If you’re thinking you don’t have time to fit something else into your schedule, I hear you. There are plenty of days I tell myself I don’t have time, or I’ll get to it later. Sometimes I get to it, but sometimes I don’t.
I work at a church where all staff members are encouraged to make time for personal devotions. At first it felt like something else I had to do. But isn’t that the way it is with any new discipline?
As I got used to making time for God, it went from something I knew I should do, to something I wanted to do. I see a difference in the days I spend one-on-one time with God. It might be that life doesn’t seem quite so difficult or that it’s easier to see the blessings in my life. Sometimes it’s an adjustment in my attitude or the ability to view a situation from a different perspective. Other times still, it’s a calm or peaceful feeling that on my own I don’t have; I know it’s from God.
Now that I’ve experienced the blessings of personal time with God, I know the difference in the days I don’t spend time with Him. On those days there is an emptiness to my day and an emptiness in me, one that can only be filled by God and my connection with Him.
Everything seems worse when we’re tired—physically and spiritually. God knows we need both physical rest and spiritual rest…and when we rely on Him, I believe He gives us both.