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written by Beira Brown

The shallow breathing I was experiencing should have been a red flag. You know there’s a problem when you must remind yourself to breathe. Breathing should be as mindless as our hearts beating.

I wanted to embrace the squeals and outbursts of laughter, yet, I found myself suffocating because striving and doing everything in my power left me breathless.

My inner being could not keep up with my outer world realities. My soul was restless.

I was so tired and worn out, overwhelmed by the pressures of life.

My insides wanted to breathe and enjoy the journey instead of focusing on the next thing to do.

And then the Holy Spirit filled my lungs with fresh air when He spoke to my heart saying, “Stop striving and take a rest.”

It had been so long since I had been rested that it had become a foreign concept to me.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

Life shouldn’t be forced just like our faith shouldn’t be lived out through works.
We get so wrapped up with our to-do that we forget our to-be.

Instead of living freely and lightly, we bind ourselves to doing.

Doing life instead of being alive.

But as we accept His invitation to a real rest, surrendering complete control of everything we do, and allowing the Holy Spirit to breathe into us, we can feel the pressure release and the rest grace over us like buckets of water showered over us.

It’s not about all that we do, but about how we do it all.

It always comes back to being in relationship with Him. It’s allowing our souls to be satisfied in Him and finding our sufficiency in His grace. We must recognize that He wants to be in every aspect of our lives, even what we consider mundane.

Will we dare to get caught up in His unforced rhythms of grace?

Will we dare to give time to the Holy Spirit to breathe into us, to fill our lungs with rest so we can exhale satisfaction? So we find ourselves in a place where the noise of this world can’t reach the depth of our soul?

It’s an unfamiliar rest, unlike the work-then-rest pattern of our world. It’s a deep inner soul rest. It’s being at a place that we can work from rest.

When the Holy Spirit led me to this wholeness, I made it home. I could hear Him clearly even through the chaos in my world.

I started hearing His whispers and His sighs of joy toward me. Pure love.

Now I can hear Him beating within me and I feel so comfortable, my heart beating in rhythm with His. I don’t want to leave this quiet calm.

This is how He intended for us to walk our journey, walking right beside him, learning how to live fully at rest.

READ // 
Genesis 2:2-3
Psalm 23

In the weeks leading up to Easter, what are some areas of your life where you can stop striving and learn to be at rest?  What would it take for you to spend intentional time each day with Jesus?  What can you say "no" to in order to make room for Christ and the rhythm of rest?

Beira Brown is a wife, homeschooling mother of two, and professional portrait photographer. She earned a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from Susquehanna University and a M.S. in Counseling and Human Relations from Villanova University. She shares her work and life at
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