Naps Can Be Holy Too

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Hi guys.

I know I’ve been MIA here, but let me reassure you I’m alive and mostly well.

It’s been one heck of a week with my husband gone in Florida and me solo-parenting. *mad props to all the single parents out there by the way* All three boys were sweet and my home is still standing, so that’s a mom win! But my body is flat-out trashed. Sleep, you say? What is sleep? They tell me one day I will remember, but I’m not holding my breath.  😉

Unfortunately, this week has been more than physically draining. My heart has been through literal hell and back, and I’m still trying to recover. I’m not sure if you’ve ever experienced a relational heartache so intense that your body shakes and the tears just don’t stop flowing and there’s nothing you can do about it. I hope you have no idea what I’m talking about because it’s truly something fierce. I’ve wanted to defend myself and clarify an already messy situation, but God has continually asked me to hold my tongue. Words are my thing, and when I’m angry and hurt, I can wield them into some pretty lethal weapons. So, remaining silent for now is probably the wisest thing I can do, but it’s still hard and energy-draining. Once I let things settle down, I promise I will talk a little more about what God is teaching me through this trial, but right now all I want to do is eat chocolate and watch mindless romantic comedies on Netflix. And honestly, I think that’s okay.

I remember when I was a graduate student in seminary one of my professors, Dr. Thrasher, said something to our class that I will never forget. In the midst of our crazed exam prep and paper writing, he looked out into a sea of overwhelmed faces and gave us permission. “You know, sometimes one of the most holy things you can do is take a nap.”

We all laughed, but he repeated himself and made sure we understood he was serious. In that small boxed-in classroom, I remember feeling so free. All the striving to be my best, tackling project upon project, left me in this constant state of pursuit. Always going. Always moving. Always trying. But in those precious moments we all took a collective sigh of relief and recognized that as God’s ministers, we needed to let go and let the Savior of the world minister to us instead.

My professor went on to talk about Jesus and His divine need for rest and refreshment. Can you imagine? The Son of God who was able to do all things, including healing the sick and casting out demons and walking on water… this same man, the physical embodiment of God, actually took the time step away and nap. He paused to let His Father pour into His body and soul because He knew it was not only needed, it was GOOD. If we think we are too busy to stop busting through our calendars, we’ve unintentionally shifted our focus from the peace of the eternal.  We’re more interested in the hustle rather than the holy. It’s so easy to do, and I am preaching to myself here, but I really think God’s children need the blessed permission to PAUSE. REST. REFILL.

If Jesus needed time with His Dad in order to function, why would we not welcome the break as well? If Jesus chose to sleep during storms and pray in the midst of persecution, why would we not accept the same invitation to imitate Him? Jesus didn’t fix His eyes on anything besides the Father and His will, and it is definitely His will that we rest… especially when we feel depleted. Jesus was sure of His relationship with the Father. He knew He was loved and accepted and that nothing He could do would ever change the Father’s opinion of Him. That same assurance has been extended to us, His Sons and Daughters.

We are in Christ, my friends. That means we get to experience the realities of Jesus in our own life. We get to rest in His grace and faithfulness. We get to refresh our spirits with the truths of heaven. We get to embrace our worth as the Father embraces all of us. I don’t remember where I heard this, but we are human beings not human doings.

So, let’s be with our Comforter. Let’s calm our hearts and take a divine step back. It’s more than okay to let Him revive our spirits and bodies in whatever way He deems best. We need Him. We need to soak up His kindness and feel the freedom to relax.

Here’s your permission slip, child of God.  Go on and take that holy nap.

14 thoughts on “Naps Can Be Holy Too

  1. I think we need to create a printable of “We’re more interested in the hustle rather than the holy” Would someone please do a sermon series on this? I love it!

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  2. What a great phrase. I’ll definitely keep it in mind as I’ll be starting seminary soon! 🙂 I so agree that rest is important and essential in life. There were times I worked so much and so hard and felt so burnt out all the time… thank God that He has shown me how to incorporate rest into my daily rhythms more now. Thank you for a lovely read!

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  3. Becky, you are so right! Rest is an act of trust in God. We trust in his care and provision to not constantly rush around to meet our needs. We trust him that we will be taken care of. Restis such a central spiritual principle, but in our hustle and bustle culture, we often overlook it. Thank you for pointing us to the truth ❤️

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  4. Not that we need permission but thanks. God already gave it, even expects it of us. He gives the beloved sleep. Psalm 127:2. I have written and learned more about rest in the past two years than ever before, I seriously believe the original plan was 12 hrs of day and 12 night, no wonder we are sleep deprived. And Hebrews 4 has a lot to say about entering His rest. Thanks, enjoy your nap.

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  5. In the world we live in, rest is usually looked down upon. And I am usually horrible at taking breaks but God keeps reminding me that in Him we can rest. He designed it and even took a day to rest himself. It is so freeing to know that we can do that too without feeling guilty.

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  6. Absolutely true! I remember Pastor Robert Morris Told of a time his wife said to him, “I think you just need to take a nap .” Maybe we should help out those closest to us to do the same. I don’t seem to have trouble in this area. Can fall asleep anywhere anytime. So now I don’t feel so bad. 😍😂

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  7. Thanks for the encouragement. It’s definitely good practice to take a nap. I do that naturally anyway because I need to recharge. It’s important to rest, and I think when we get overly tired we can also become more susceptible to spiritual attacks because we’re running on empty.

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  8. Thank you for this encouraging post! I definitely need a nap these days, as things have been so stressful at work and in my life in general these days. When I get overly tired, I find that I become irritable and upset more easily. Thank you for this reminder again!

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  9. So often we focus on doing things, rather than balancing doing things with periods of rest. It is strange that most of us struggle with this balance, because when we study Jesus and his life he so clearly role models this pattern of engagement, balanced with rest and prayer. I think to be really effective and productive it is not about working harder, longer, more intensely but rather, it taking the necessary moments, hour(s), days and even weeks for periods of rest, being mindful and praying so we can be refreshed. I love your professor’s line, “You know, sometimes one of the most holy things you can do is take a nap.” I think it resonates because of its simple truth – an admittance that we are human, we need rest to sustain ourselves, and we trust that God has got things when we need a break. Thanks for the post!

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