Running Ragged-Rest








Do you feel like you have the gas pedal all the way to floor and still can’t keep up with life? Are you putting off things that would really benefit your health because you are too busy? Does life feel a little out of control? Are you running ragged? I have been in this place many times.

This past weekend we made a trip to the farm. My kids love going to the farm. They love the chickens, pigs, cows, goats, ducks, cats, dogs etc. My niece, owner of the farm, calmly walks around showing me all the animals. I am overwhelmed by everything that is going on around me. Each foot step is carefully placed as I watch her children run through the pens to help with feedings. I used to think farm life was calm and unencumbered. I retract that thought. I remember how busy and exhausting life was when my kids were preschool age. We are still busy but a few things have changed.

As a person whose body completely shut down in her early twenties do to stress and overworking, you would think I have this completely mastered. I have learned a lot, but I still struggle. I kind of like to live on the edge of too much stress. I have had to learn the power of rest. 

There are lots of ways to reduce stress in our lives. We can take a nap, go out with friends, take a hot bath, exercise, go for a walk, watch a good movie and the list could go on forever. We are all different in what helps us de-stress. When I’m running ragged, time out in nature does me a world of good. But here is the problem I have struggled with, going for a hike in the woods feels great and then I come home and re-enter the stress zone. Stress comes right back. I may have taken a break from it, but it hasn’t gone anywhere. I had to learn to reduce my stress level in the midst of the stress. I had to learn to rest – rest in Him.

So here is what I have learned, but in all honesty, I still fall off the wagon from time to time. I need to be continually spending time with God. This simple scripture from James says it all.

Come near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:8
He is always right there waiting from me when I come to Him. As soon as I begin to pray, my heart rate slows down. I feel a sense of calm as I invite Him into my life and into the stress. This isn’t rocket science. There isn’t a perfect, magic way to accomplish it. Just draw near to to Him. When we rest in the arms of our Savior, we get the peace that surpasses all understanding. We can call on that in the midst of a stressful situation, at the end of a stressful day or any other time that works. But, here is the kicker, we have to do it daily. Whenever I slip out of my daily routine, I start to feel like I’m running ragged and in need of rest. As soon as I go back to His word and promises, I no longer feel stressed and overwhelmed. Making Him a priority makes all the other demands of my life fall into place and suddenly there is enough time for everything. However, I will not be adding any farm animals to my life.
How about you? How are you doing at resting in Him? Do you need more practice? Do you need a small group, church or conference to get you jump started? Share your story below.

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