Leadership

Finding Rest During a Pandemic

By Shannon Reese

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NET)

Looking for rest during a pandemic is not much different than looking for rest as a young mom. 

When my boys were little, I spent my days working full time as a mom, building train tracks that traveled from room to room; crafting homemade lunchables; folding mountains of laundry; and thrifting for the boys’ jeans at second-hand stores. When, or if, they napped, I’d get started on part-time contract work I could do from my living room before setting projects aside until after the sun, and my boys, went down at the end of the day.

Finding rest was nearly impossible. 

My home was my office. Unfinished work was always nearby. 

Fast forward twenty years.

My boys are men. They are building their lives, making their own lunches, and folding clean clothes they purchased and washed on their own. 

And, once again, I’m working from home full time.

This time, my work includes pastoring people, facilitating online Bible studies, communicating with volunteers and staff, developing leaders, and creating a healthy team culture. All from a twenty-five square foot corner of my bedroom. 

Today, my bedroom is my office and my unfinished work is still nearby.

So, where does one go to find rest during a pandemic? Where does one go to find rest when your bedroom, or your home, has become your office? 

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. …”

I imagine that if you are a Christan woman leading, you are weary and burdened. Like me, you need rest. But, what if I told you that real rest is not found in a place? 

Real rest is found in a person. 

Read that again.

Real rest is not found in a place. It is found in a person.

While being in a specific place can help to promote rest (can anyone say Hawaii?), our souls find life-giving rest when we are in a relationship with the Giver of rest. 

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. …”

So, how are you connecting in your relationship with the rest-Giver during this season?

How are you talking with and listening to the One who loves to satisfy your soul’s longings and fill you up to overflowing? 

Do you need help to engage or re-engage with Him during this season? 

Here are a few ways that I’m experiencing rest with Jesus this month. Try one, or more, this month to experience rest with Him.

  1. Walk among nature and let yourself experience/enjoy God’s creation. Marvel at the colors, the movement of the wind in the trees, the animals, the sounds. Talk with God as you walk. Listen for His voice.
  2. Meditate. Choose a Scripture or a phrase to repeat. Spend time quietly thinking about these words. Spend three, five, or ten minutes being still. Focus. If you need help, check out Abide, a devotional app that helps the listener meditate on truths from God’s Word. 
  3. Read and write out Scripture. Writing, not typing, helps me process what I’m reading. Handwriting forces me to slow down. As you read God’s Word, write out a verse or a phrase. Respond to what you read with a question or a prayer. If you want to study God’s Word in a new way, click the button below. Download free Bible study methods that have helped me study with purpose. Let His Spirit wash over you and refresh your mind.
  4. Listen to God’s Word. As I listen to someone else read, I hear things differently. The Dwell app has been a new discovery for me during this season. There are other options for Bible listening but check this one out if you’re interested (especially if you like listening to international accents; Spanish is also available!).
  5. Sip tea with a girlfriend who loves Jesus. Share your weary soul in a spiritual friendship and experience God’s Spirit and comfort through her. 

How are you experiencing rest with Jesus?

I’d love to hear how you are finding rest with Him. Comment below to share what is working for you.

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