Find R.E.S.T. in the Why
Why. The word by its very definition means “for what reason or purpose”. I do not know about the last eleven months of your 2020, but mine have been absolutely bananas! I began this year filled with so much expectancy, looking forward to the possibility of all kinds of promises that God would fulfill. Perhaps your year started off the same way. Then, as we all know, we were caught off guard by world events: from a devastating global pandemic to the heart wrenching rise in racial tension.
As I took some time to reflect over this past year, I was unsure of what to feel or even where to start if I had to try and put my feelings into perspective. At that moment, I simply heard these words “Find REST in the why”. Now, although I know what it means to rest, I did not understand why that is what came to my mind as I was reflecting over the events of the past eleven months. So, I looked it up and the one definition that stuck out to me was “ease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength”.
In John 16:33 (NLT), the Bible gives us some insight into how to find peace in the midst of turmoil and trying times, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
When we take time to rest instead of exerting our energy trying to constantly understand a reason, purpose or explanation for everything happening in our lives, we allow ourselves an opportunity to obtain momentum and strength to endure what lies ahead.
Learning rest provides recovery from the words, events and actions that have drained us, injured us emotionally, mentally, financially, spiritually, and physically. It teaches us equanimity, which is the ability to have composure and an evenness of temper- specifically in difficult situations. An evenness of temper is equal to self-control, which is a portion of the fruit that the Holy Spirit desires to produce in our lives, according to Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT), “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
Learning to rest brings solace, so just as John 16:33 tells us, we are going to have trials and sorrows – even sadness and distress- in the world, but we can find comfort and peace in the fact that Jesus Christ has overcome the world. Finally, learning to rest provides a sense of tranquility… the kind that the psalmist spoke about in Psalm 23:2 (NLT), “He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams."
We will not always be given an explanation or reason for why situations and circumstances occur in our lives. But we never need to allow our peace to be disrupted or our rest to be disturbed simply because we do not understand why. We can choose to find our own recovery, equanimity, solace, and tranquility even when we do not understand… and rest anyway until the moment passes.
There is a saying that says, “Hindsight is 20/20.” I believe the same goes for the year in which we are currently living. We will look back on the year 2020 and realize that all of the things that did not make sense at the time we were experiencing it were needed, and some even necessary, in order to take us to the place that God has destined for us.
God’s word promises that one day all things will make sense. John 13:7 (NLT) says, “Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
So, as we wait for that moment, let us take full advantage of the time we have to rest and gain our strength for what awaits us next.
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, (Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 2015), s.v. “why.”
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, (Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 2015), s.v. “rest.”