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In Repentance and Rest

by RACHEL MCDONALD YANAC REST Balancing ministry, family, & life Burn out Homeschooling Quiet time with the Lord Spiritual wellness
  In Repentance and Rest
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“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.’”
Isaiah 30:15,18a

Rest. It isn’t something I consciously think about that often. I usually get eight hours of sleep at night and wake up to my son’s rooster crowing as the sun bursts over the Andes Mountains. It’s much more peaceful than fighting with an alarm clock. Coupled with exercise in the great outdoors and access to fresh, healthy food grown on the farms all around, it’s easy to feel physically fit and well-rested.

But that’s just physical rest. Emotional and spiritual rest are often harder to come by, especially for moms of young children, many children, teens, or kids with special needs. Homeschooling ratchets things up another notch, and being a person who adds several self-imposed assignments to her schedule (why NOT invite the entire youth group over for homemade pizza?) certainly doesn’t help. Add cross-cultural ministry into this mix, and it’s easy to forget to plan time into your day for spiritual and emotional rest. Until God chooses to remind you, like He did for me when I spent our entire Christmas vacation sleeping off a particularly nasty flu bug. 

So as I lay in bed recovering from the flu while the kids did... (Hmmm… what exactly DID they do during their break?), I spent some time thinking about God’s desire to give us rest. He demonstrated our need for physical rest by taking an entire day off at the end of creation week. In Isaiah 30, He spoke of our need for spiritual and emotional rest by linking it to our salvation. The only thing we can do to obtain salvation is to repent… and then He calls us to rest. 

To rest in the fact that His forgiveness is enough. I won’t have a more complete salvation by doing bigger and better things for Him. I can’t raise absolutely perfect children. It’s OK to let the revolving door on our guest room stay shut for a while, or to start a school week with no written lesson plans. 

The Lord longs to be gracious to us, to rise up and show us compassion. I think that’s one reason why He reminds us to rest.

Closing Prayer
Thank you so much, Father, for reminding me that my only part in salvation is repentance. Teach me to rest in that knowledge, Lord, and help me to stop trying to do so many good things to please you. Thank you for longing to be gracious to me and for rising up and showing me compassion. Thank you for giving me rest. Amen.
Question for Reflection

Do you find it more difficult to feel physically rested, or emotionally and spiritually rested? What are a few small changes you can make today to fix this?

Rachel McDonald Yanac
January 14, 2021

I have a much harder time feeling emotionally and spiritually rested because I put a lot of pressure on myself to do so many extra things beyond what I really need to be doing. Today, I will look at my self-imposed “to-do list” and cross off a few of the things that I feel like I NEED to do to please God. And during the time that I would have spent doing those things, I’ll re-read the Isaiah passage about repentance and rest, and sing along with a few songs that encourage me to rest in HIM.

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