It is Saturday night, close to the end of another magnificent retreat. This time, I’m reveling in the peaceful, welcoming beauty of the Cove (AKA The Billy Graham Training Center) in Asheville, North Carolina, for a Christian writers’ conference.
I’d been wanting to visit the Cove for years. When I finally made it here for a personal spiritual retreat a year ago in November, I was overwhelmed with joy at having found such a rich treasure of godly pleasure. They’d thought of everything. I felt so cared for there.
It’s surrounded by God’s beautiful natural world and restfully, peacefully, quiet here. They serve amazing 5-star meals crafted by a world-class chef. The accommodations are rustic but luxurious. They have a coffee and soda bar and many inviting spaces to talk with new friends on every floor. (No, I’m not getting reimbursed for giving them glowing reviews.) If you want to bring your group someplace incredibly servant-hearted, filled with God’s welcoming grace, and some of the best eats you’ll ever have, bring them to the Cove! Click here for more information on accommodations and upcoming events: https://www.thecove.org/
I mention this glorious retreat and training center in this week’s blog because this is one of the few places where I find rest in physical surroundings and a welcoming stance.
Rest is something critical to us living beings. At Dictionary.com, rest is explained as the refreshing repose or quiet of sleep, refreshing ease after exertion or activity, relief or freedom from anything that wearies, troubles, or disturbs, a period or interval of inactivity, repose, solitude, or tranquility; as a verb, to refresh one’s self, relieve weariness by cessation of exertion, be quiet, still, or inactive.
The Jews were commanded to keep the last day of the week as their Sabbath because the Lord rested, or ended, His creating of the universe on that final day (Exodus 31:13). Jews, Seventh-Day Adventists, and Seventh-Day Baptists continue this tradition of practicing the Sabbath on Saturdays.
Slowly, the body of Christ in the New Testament began to worship on Sundays instead of Saturdays because Sunday is when the Lord Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Now many Christians who practice a day of rest choose Sunday for the same reason. The day is not as important as the practice for many in contemporary times.
Rest is especially important to Christians, even busy single ones, because without it our bodies, souls, and spirits cannot recuperate properly. The Lord designed it that way.
The online Merriam-Webster defines recuperate as to get back, bring back into use, or regain a former state or condition. Now, aren’t these descriptions something we need to have, do, and be every day?
I’m not sure if Adam and Eve needed rest before the fall, but we all sure need it now!
How does rest help us recuperate?
1. Rest helps us relax. Relaxation is the state of being free of tension and anxiety, of recreation after a period of work, and, in physics, the restoration of equilibrium after a disturbance. Rest can lead us into these descriptions. Aren’t these descriptions what we need after feeling tense or negative, working hard, or being disturbed by something intense?
2. Rest helps us to remove harmful elements in our bodies, hearts, minds and souls. Remove, meaning to move, shift, dismiss, take away, or get rid of, as well as the above-mentioned definition of rest, can help displace the harmful elements and negativity that tend to accumulate within and hijack us all from time to time.
3. Rest helps us to recover. To recover is to get back, bring back to normal position or condition, to find and identify again, and/or to regain. I don’t know about you, but I need to get my energy levels, motivation, joy, and compassion back every day! Rest helps both you and I to do this.
4. Rest helps us to restore. When something, let’s say our souls, are restored, we are returned back to ourselves. We are put back into our original state; we are renewed. We are put back into the possession of something. In our cases, we are put back into the possession of the Holy Spirit to be renewed.
All four of these RE’s: relax, remove, recover, and restore, all flow from rest and lead to recuperation. So—Christian single—don’t be afraid to rest. To chill. It’ll do you good. Scientific research has backed this up for a long time. According to a review in The Business Insider by Jennifer Welsh, both our brains and our bodies need rest and sleep at the molecular level to rejuvenate.
Christ’s Single, especially if you’re one of those busy ones:
Do you have a day of rest?
What can you do to add more godly rest into your life?
What have you neglected in your life in the last 12 months that used to bring you godly rest, relaxation, removal, recovery, and restoration, and that you could bring back into your life?
I hope you bring it back and reintroduce your tired self to some peaceful, restorative rest!
Definition of recover. Merriam-Webster online dictionary. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recover accessed 02/18/17
Definition of recuperate. Merriam-Webster online dictionary. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recuperate accessed 02/18/17
Definition of relaxation. Oxford online dictionary. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/relaxation accessed 02/18/17
Definition of remove. Dictionary.com. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/remove accessed 02/18/17
Definition of rest. Dictionary.com. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/rest?s=t accessed 02/18/17
Definition of restore. Merriam-Webster online dictionary. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/restore accessed 02/18/17.
Welsh, Jennifer. Scientists have finally found the real reason why we need to sleep. Article for The Business Insider. 10/17/13. http://www.businessinsider.com/the-first-real-reason-we-need-to-sleep-2013-10