Turmoil vs. Rest

Rest: peace of mind or spirit; freedom from activity or labor      Turmoil: state of confusion or disorder

The above definitions were obtained from the Merriam-Webster dictionary online. I wanted to write about these words.  They appear to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, fighting each other. One reminds me of the person who, no matter what comes his or her way, they (at least outwardly) appear to handle situations well. However I wonder about how these type of people are inwardly. Could they exhibit a calm exterior while silently battling a war internally?

I wish I was experiencing internal and external rest. I admit that is not the case. Today when I woke up, I thought that finally I slept through the night and got rest in the process, as initially I felt refreshed, if only a little bit. But by the time I got to the parking lot at work, it was like an avalanche of tiredness enveloped me, continuing to extend frustration. By the time I got home from visiting my mother at the nursing home, I wanted to delve into this issue of rest. Why can’t I obtain it?

Coming from a Christian perspective, rest is the result of trusting in God. The results of that trust involve experiencing peace that one cannot explain, a gift from God. Turmoil, on the other hand, is the result of worrying, which bring on weariness and an inner war that one cannot win.

Jesus commands us to

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:29

If explained further, Jesus challenges us to

  • position my yoke on you
  • learn, increase your knowledge about me, and put that to use or practice it in your everyday life
  • be humble and gentle like I am
  • after searching and coming to me with you situation that you think you can’t handle, you will find what you need.
Psalm 32:8 speaks of God saying He will instruct and teach us in the way that we should go.
So there is something to be learned here. If I trust God to show me the way, I need to give Him my situation, as He promises to show me how to handle it. I admit I have been trying to work it out in my mind, trying to fix everything, which is probably why I can’t mentally shut down and relax and rest. Please pray for caregivers. We have a lot on our minds as we try to juggle living our lives while taking care of others. It is a challenging task. If I had a prayer request for caregivers, it would be that we all need rest: freedom from worry, a type of intermission that keeps our emotions in check to the point that peace permanently replaces  turmoil, so when we turn off the lights at night and our heads hit the pillow, our sleep will be restfully sweet…



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