February 13, 2024
Finding Peace in the Pursuit

In our fast-paced generation, we often forget the importance of rest. However, even God rested after creating the world. Taking intentional rest can allow us to hear from God and find peace, just like Nehemiah did before embarking on a significant task. Rest is not laziness, but a recognition of our need for guidance and reset. When we find peace through rest, we can see God's guiding hand leading us to a good future.


Hilary Charlet

We live in a generation of being on the go. We run ourselves ragged and forget that to be all we were created to be, rest is essential. We’ve come to believe the notion that if we rest, we’re lazy or unmotivated. We tend to forget that even God, Himself, rested. He did the work, and “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 2:3, NIV).

In the pursuit of creating all of the heavens and the earth, He rested. Wouldn’t we be wise to follow His example, to remember that rest is good? Contrary to what society preaches, taking time to rest doesn’t mean God stops moving. Resting can result in quite the opposite of what we might think. In those moments of intentional rest, quiet, stillness, and prayer, we have a chance to hear from God - to give Him the space and opportunity to stir in our hearts, to drop nuggets, ideas, and direction into our lives. Peace can propel us into our purpose.

Nehemiah is a prime example. He heard the status of Jerusalem, the place where his ancestors were buried, and was wrecked by the news of how bleak it looked.

Nehemiah didn’t rush off to help. He did the opposite - he “mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4, NIV). He spent four months in prayer. Not four minutes, hours, or even days, but four months. What would it look like in our own lives, if we responded to requests, news, health concerns, work, our day-to-day decisions, by pausing in prayer before proceeding?

There was a season I found myself working from sunup to sundown, my mind contemplating a million thoughts per minute. After two weeks of nonstop commitments, I couldn’t do it any longer. I knew I needed an intentional afternoon of quiet. I sat outside and handed it all over - my anxiety, stress, and uncertainty of the future. Not long after, a new opportunity presented itself and in it, I found work-life balance and peace inside my soul. The stillness I found in that afternoon of prayer helped me see God was going to launch me into a new season of purpose.

Nehemiah spent those months in prayer seeking the Lord’s direction on how to move forward. In just the right timing, the opportunity arose.

The king said to me, “What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”

Nehemiah 2: 4-5, NIV

The king was happy to send him and even provided letters for the governors that would allow him to pass safely through their lands and provide the timber he needed to rebuild. The work was no easy task- but God remained bigger than the distractions, intimidations, and challenges that he and his crew faced. Did they complete the rebuild? They sure did! It stood in ruins for over 100 years and completed the work in only fifty-two days.

Do you believe that God can move like that in your life? Are you intentional with a day of rest each week to allow Him the space to speak to you? If you can’t incorporate a full day- do you take at least an hour or two each week to just be still, to relax and recharge? It can be challenging to say “no” to commitments and to set boundaries, but in order to be the people we were created to be, we must remember— rest isn’t for the lazy. Rest is the recognition we can’t do it all on our own. Rest is a requirement that resets us and directs us. When we find peace, we see more clearly God’s guiding hand into a future that is so, so good.