The Holiness of Rest
My feet touch the criss-cross brick pavers with sentimental recollection. Memories of salt air brushing against my face. Walking hand-in-hand with the man I’ve loved for more years than I thought I could count. Sunsets sinking into the ocean’s horizon while we cuddle on Hawiian, floral beach towels.
In this quaint, artistic town sculpted around a God-carved nook in the ocean, we once again feel the romance blossom and the rest bathe our weary spirits. Here in Carmel-by-the-Sea, our worries are shelved as we stroll by familiar boutique-style shops, art galleries, and storybook houses on the path to where the waves gently break against the shore and the sea air blows away any tension.
We breath slowly–for this is a time of rest–soaking in the medley of flowers that paint the streets of this scenic town. Joining in the melody are the lyrical tones of passersby whose European words drift on the salty breeze. Everyone smiles and greets each other in Carmel while the cutest four-legged creatures, some small, some large, wag their friendly tails. We chat with a dog owner in front of the Cafe Carmel. Scratching the Labrador’s black, shiny coat, we share our dog stories with its likeable owner, and then continue on our way.
Rest. This is rest. The rest our pastor admonished us to take. Not just for us but for all Christians. As Pastor John Miller covered many Scriptures during his teaching on Genesis, it became evident that God designed us to rest as well as to work. And just as God rested from His work, we should do the same.
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Genesis 2:2,3 NIV
But rest is more than just a time of refreshment from our labors. It is a holy time. Look back at the above Scripture. When God finished His work of creation, He blessed the seventh day and made it holy because He rested from all of the work of creating.
To rest is to follow the Lord, our pastor, pointed out. The body needs rest, he said, and only in God do we have true rest. Pastor Miller continued to explain that our “ticket” into God’s rest is faith and trust in Him. Our soul needs rest as well from anxieties, fears, and cares of this world.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NIV
Even in the midst of our work, we can find rest for our souls when we put God first and allow Him to carry our burdens and the pressures we face.
So, what does rest for the body look like?
It can be different things for different people. Opening the pages of a book and stretching out on a sofa can bring rest from our daily work. A day in the park. Time spent walking through God’s glorious creation and giving Him praise massages away the knotted muscles. A picnic lunch. A Sunday drive with the family.
Gardening. Sitting under the stars. Swimming, running, splashing in the ocean. A short vacation.
|Seals and Sea Lions Sun Bathing|
|The Lone Cypress along Monterey’s 17-Mile Drive|
The key, I believe, is that we seek what type of rest the Lord sees fit to provide for us. We need Him to be a part of the rest from our labors if we are to be truly refreshed.
|Longtime Friends who drove down to see us|
Our trip to Carmel was a gift from the Lord. There we basked in His glorious creations from the pounding surf along Point Lobos to the sea life we observed from the cliffs above. The tangled Cypress trees topped in green leaf hats with grayish white trunks spoke of His unique creations while a vast array of colorful flowers shouted the wealth of His artistic hand. The rekindling of friendships forged when our children were young also demonstrated God’s unique care of us.
As you ponder that rest is “holy,” what is your response to God’s call for you in this and how do you find rest?
A beautiful picture painted here Janis in words and photo’s, thank you for sharing, I need to ponder the question at the end.
Beautiful images! And I love the phrase you used about seeking the type of rest He has provided for us…a great way to avoid the vacation that you need a vacation to recover from 🙂
Janis, what beautiful pictures from your time in Carmel. Thank you so much for sharing. Your words on rest were also a needed reminder.
Blessings to you,
It is good to take both a physical rest and a spiritual rest too. Getting away and basking in God’s beautiful world is one way to do both! I loved your photos! Oh Yes, my cataract surgery went well and colors are so bright now.
Hi Janis! I am going on vacation tomorrow, so I hope I’ll get some rest too. Your pictures are just wonderful, and you look so happy 🙂 Nothing like some rest to make those frown lines disappear.
Thank you for your message today!
Peace in Christ,
I love Carmel – and I’m so glad that the two of you had such a lovely time. The photos you shared in this post were spectacular – I especially loved the flowers.
Rest – ah, that word. I find it so hard to find quiet within myself. Even when I put myself in a bodily position of rest, turmoil still seems to stir. Most often, the rest comes when I turn to the Word. God’s words speak peace to my soul.
Your scripture was such encouragement – and I loved how you pointed out that we each see rest differently and find it in different things. Carmel is simply beautiful – and your photos were a blessing! Thank you for sharing your message of rest – it had been an important boundary setting topic for me this weekend:)
Beautiful, spiritual, restfull–Thank you!
Oh my! Such beauty and bounty. I’ll have to add Carmel to my wish list of “resting places”… so glad we were neighbors at Laura’s today.
Your descriptive gifts shine through in this, Janis. I can tell your senses were enlivened on this trip, and your soul, as well, as you drank deeply of this special place. Thank you for sharing this with us. You could have gathered this up and held it close; instead, you let it tumble onto the pages of your space here online so that more people could see the beauty and celebrate your time of rest (and your love!).
I am a big believer in the importance of rest. Thank you for these lovely photos and words reminding me that it should also be seen as holy. Blessings!
oh how lovely! I could feel the peace oozing from your words. You know June was a crazy month for me. We left for our trip out west on a Friday and it was the following Tuesday when I said to my husband, “This morning was the first day I feel back to normal.” took that long to “reset’ the dial. yes, yes rest is essential to our growth and to life. Love your words and photos, Janis
Stunning! I’d love to step right into those pictures. Restful indeed.
I love Carmel-by-the-Sea. I’ve only been there once but the whole area is so breath-taking. It’s like breathing in rest…breathing in God.
What a beautiful post, both in words and photos. We’ve been talking about Sabbath and rest over at The High Calling, so I featured your post today for our readers: http://www.thehighcalling.org/hcb-community
Great work! Congrats!
Thank you for the honor of being selected as a featured post over at The High Calling. I must come over to read about your discoveries and discussions on Sabbath and rest. I’ve heard some of the quotes and they sound quite thought-provoking.
Couldn’t reply sooner because we were off taking a mini-rest, camping with friends. Camping is one of those rests that always has a question mark. Part relaxation and part exertion. My husband likes to call it relaxertion.
Thank you, again, Dena for noting my post.
Blessings to you,
Oh, Janis, this is so beautiful. I could feel myself breath deep and slow as I read. Such a gift a time like this is. I felt I was unwrapping it!
Oh Janis, how I love Carmel! I almost felt like I was there as I read your description and looked at your amazingly beautiful photos. My friends rent a house along 17 Mile Drive for three months each year and I have an open invitation from them to visit. I went twice but it’s been years now since I’ve been able to go. Right now, my rest is in my bed at home or sitting in the front entry in my garden.
Blessings and love,
Rest (for me) generally always comes in the morning. Soft breezes through my window, gentle do-nothing days are like hugs from God. He tells me often I can find this rest in the storm and I take comfort know that is true.
Very nice poem of pictures and words were shared here. Thank you.
I feel blessed to have come here today from your response to the Coast-to-Coast sisters @ SDG. My mother once lived in Pacific Grove and spending time with her along this beautiful California coastline was always such a favorite place for me to be and with her. Much of my life has been in CA but San Diego and Orange County so Northern CA is special. Thanks for sharing the place but mostly the REST that God gave to you and to me. May He rain His blessings upon you as He reigns in your heart.
Caring through Christ, ~ linda