A counselor once gave me some great advice about rest. At that time, my thoughts were chaotic and all over the map. I was stressed out and struggling to get good sleep. Many of my thoughts had to do with trying to hear God’s voice perfectly. My counselor simply asked me, “Where is the rest in that?” He said God always wants to lead me to a place of rest. If “God’s voice” was causing stress and not leading me to experience his rest, then perhaps it wasn’t him talking.
Not only did my counselor recommend that I constantly ask myself where I was finding rest amidst my crazy thoughts, he gave another great piece of practical wisdom: the four breath rule. The four breath rule is simple; breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, breathe out for four seconds, and repeat this four times. In some of my most stressful moments, I’ve done this exercise and immediately felt a lightness and a peace come over me.
Breathe, my child… It’s all going to be okay… You are in your Father’s tender hand… Just breathe.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul” (Psalm 23:1-3)
Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
“Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7).
“Be still and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10)!
Pause. Meditate. Breathe. Rest.
God is your Shepherd and Father. He is the God of peace. In the midst of our busy society it is increasingly important for us to seek out those times of stillness. God is in the stillness. So be still, my child, and let him lead you into his rest.