Wednesday, June 17, 2015

An Unexpected Lesson About Rest

Rest has been a theme here at The Stream's Edge. A message I need to hear. Maybe you do too. 

Join my guest, Dr. Michelle Bengston today with her thoughts about the subject. Often the unexpected lessons are the ones we hear the loudest.
Welcome, Dr. Michelle...

An Unexpected Lesson about Rest
Image courtesy of marcolm at

Have you ever started off the New Year with a word or theme for your year? A couple years ago, God gave me the word “Rest” as my theme word for the year.

I argued with God about that theme…almost nothing could have been harder for me at the time than rest. Actually, I wasn’t even sure what He meant by the word rest. At the sound of it, rest sounds like a simple enough concept, but I was certain God intended something more than sleep (although, that would’ve been a good first step).

An Unexpected Lesson About Rest

I had gotten used to the over-achievers’ rat race of working long hours, and when the going got tough, just working more. And just like a hamster on a wheel, I couldn’t see the way to get off the busyness highway, making rest a foreign concept.

I sought the Scriptures for clarification, but still felt confused. Matthew 11:28-29 Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yolk upon you.  Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls… For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” For months I cried back to God, “but I don’t understand! How do you give me rest? What is rest? I don’t understand because following you doesn’t seem easy or light!”

An Unexpected Lesson About Rest
In my search to understand the importance of God’s call to rest, I came to understand the importance of rest from a spiritual perspective. God repeatedly provided a model for us to emulate. In Genesis, God himself rested at the end of His work. “By the seventh day, God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work” (Genesis 2:2 NIV)
God tells us not to worry about tomorrow because tomorrow has enough worries of its own, but instead to give Him our concerns in exchange for His peace. He encourages us to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).  In this He gives us the freedom to rest in His provision. Resting allows us to step back and remember that while we cannot control every situation we find ourselves in, we can trust the One who does.

What I never before understood was that rest requires trusting God. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6 KJV). To truly rest, we first remember that when we do not control every situation we encounter, we can trust the One who is always in control. His call to me to rest was actually a call to me to trust Him.

What do you need to trust Him in today?


An Unexpected Lesson About Rest
Author, speaker and board certified clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Bengtson is also a wife, mother and friend. She knows pain and despair firsthand and combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to address issues surrounding medical and mental disorders, both for those who suffer and for those who care for them. She offers sound practical tools, affirms worth, and encourages faith. Dr. Michelle Bengtson offers hope as a key to unlock joy and relief—even in the middle of the storm. She blogs regularly on her own site:
Hope Prevails,
Dr. Michelle Bengtson

For more hope, stay connected with me at:
Twitter: (@DrMBengtson)

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Frantic woman - Image courtesy of marcolm at


  1. Great reminder, Jeanne and Michelle. As a matter of fact, I was just telling someone today about Jesus going away to rest. Funny thing is, I was encouraging her to do it, when I have a hard time doing it myself!

  2. How true this is, Vonda. We often keep running don't we. We don't see our need of rest till it is too late. If Jesus needed much more do we!!!


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