September 5th 2023
#33: Finding Rest – A Story, a Practice & an Invitation
It’s time we remind ourselves that resting isn’t just permissible – it’s necessary.
This episode draws inspiration from the story of Elijah in One Kings 19, demonstrating how even in the midst of exhaustion and pressure, taking a break to rest is vital.
We share relatable anecdotes and discuss grounding techniques that engage all your senses, bringing you back to the present moment, just like it did for Elijah.
We take a deep, rejuvenating breath and journey into the teachings of Matthew 11, exploring the transformative power of intentional rest and refreshment.
Let us guide you in the art of grounding, encouraging you to disconnect from the chaos and carve out space for rest.
Immerse yourself in the liberating realization that taking a pause allows us to learn the unforced rhythms of grace, enabling us to live freely and lightly.
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Tune in to this soul enriching episode and start embracing refreshment as part of your journey.
- The journey towards sexual wholeness requires significant effort and can be exhausting.
- Rest and slowing down are not signs of losing momentum but rather opportunities for refreshment.
- God empathizes with our weariness and wants to be part of our journey.
- Grounding exercises using the five senses can help bring awareness and peace in challenging moments.
- Embracing rest and leaning into God’s unforced rhythms of grace can lead to regeneration and freedom.
Transcription: Finding Rest – A Story, a Practice & an Invitation
Andrea Smithberger [00:00:00]:
Tired. I bet you’re tired. I hear it a lot these days. I’m exhausted. I wish I could take a nap. We’re going to use this time for refreshment. In this episode, I’ve got a story, a practice, and an invitation just for you. Think of this episode as a rest stop, because, girl, you need it.
Andrea Smithberger [00:00:24]:
There’s lot to doing this work towards becoming sexually whole. You’re meeting with one of us in spiritual coaching, or you’re part of a group, or you’re tracking your behaviors or noticing your feelings in new ways. Naming your triggers, setting boundaries. You’re praying, you’re praising, you’re journaling, you’re waiting on forgiveness, or you’re trying to muster up forgiveness. Oh, it’s a lot. It’s a lot of work. And these things that you’re doing to reconcile your heart with your mind and your body with Jesus, it’s not linear. There’s no straight path.
Andrea Smithberger [00:01:07]:
Bless us, Lord. This is hard. No wonder you’re tired. Hear me when I tell you you are not alone. I hear this all the time. So let’s slow down a minute. Let’s take some time to catch our breath. Don’t worry, you’re not losing momentum by slowing down.
Andrea Smithberger [00:01:28]:
This is not a race. Let’s allow this time to be a fresh encounter with the Lord. Doesn’t that sound good? In the Book of One Kings, we’re going to read about Elijah, a model of obedience and focus and endurance when it comes to a relationship with God. And near the end of his assignment, elijah starts tripping on his own feet and grabbing at whatever he can. In One Kings 19, elijah is running away from Jezebel, with good reason, because she’s trying to kill him. And Elijah’s afraid. He’s tired. He’s done.
Andrea Smithberger [00:02:09]:
He says, I’ve had enough, lord, take my life, for I am no better than my father’s. He wanted to die, but he laid down and he took a nap under the broom tree. Let me just interject here that I picked Elijah because hello, Elijah. But because, as it says in the Book of James, let me remind you, elijah was a human being, as we are. So this passage that we’re about to dive into is a powerful illustration of how we try. And sometimes we just get tired, and sometimes we just need a nap. And God is God. He’s God and sees us and wants to be part of the journey with us.
Andrea Smithberger [00:02:55]:
Okay? So the story continues. Suddenly, an angel touched him. The angel told him, Get up and eat. Then he looked, and there at his head was a loaf of baked bread and a jug of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. He’s getting fresh bread and water. That is the sweetest. Then the angel of the Lord returned for a second time and touched him.
Andrea Smithberger [00:03:27]:
And he said, Get up and eat because the journey will be too much for you. So he got up, he ate, and he drank. And then on the strength from that food. He walked 40 days and 40 nights to horeb the mountain of God. He entered a cave there and spent the night. Suddenly, the word of the Lord came to him and said, what are you doing here, Elijah? He replied, I have been very zealous for the Lord, God of armies. Okay? Remember, he’s tired. He’s done.
Andrea Smithberger [00:04:01]:
But the Israelites have abandoned your covenant, torn down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they’re looking for me to take my life. Then he, being God, said, go out and stand on the mountain in the Lord’s presence. At that moment, the Lord passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.
Andrea Smithberger [00:04:47]:
And after the fire, there was a voice, a soft whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle, and he went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And suddenly a voice came to him and said, what are you doing here? Elijah? Same question. Let’s notice what just happened. God is grounding with Elijah. Elijah has been listening to the Lord in obedience, diligence, and he’s done. He’s so tired. So does the Lord say, well, now you’re disqualified.
Andrea Smithberger [00:05:27]:
Oh, you couldn’t keep up? Okay, you’re done. No. And he doesn’t say that to you. God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, reveals his heart for Elijah by practicing the art of grounding with him. Do you practice grounding? This technique engages all five of your senses with these prompts search for something you can see. Search for something you can touch. Look for something that you can hear. Notice something that you can smell.
Andrea Smithberger [00:06:06]:
Search for something you can taste. Back to Elijah. God is asking his faithful servant a question, and Elijah’s just too overwhelmed to answer. Does that sound familiar? Okay, so God walks him through some grounding. He sends Elijah a wind he can see, an earthquake he can feel, a fire he can smell, and a whisper he can hear. At the end of the experience, God repeats the question. Notice that the circumstance hasn’t changed. So what’s different? Elijah answers with the same exact words, but I bet his tone is different.
Andrea Smithberger [00:06:53]:
He’s grounded. He’s more aware. And now he remembers that God is with him. I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I’m the only one left, and they’re trying to kill me, too. Again, notice Elijah’s answer is not different. It’s the same.
Andrea Smithberger [00:07:24]:
But now they’ve taken a breath together. Could you use a breath? God recognizes Elijah’s, ready to move and Elijah recognizes he’s ready to move. There’s a lot of power in the here and now, as in where you are you at this very moment. There’s a lot of power in being aware. I love that God uses the gifts he’s given us our senses to pull us back to our senses. It’s more than a realization of the details. Grounding pulls all of you. All of you in the moment that you’re in.
Andrea Smithberger [00:08:04]:
Take some time to practice grounding. It doesn’t take long if you want to take it to the next level. You can take your shoes off and step out onto the grass or onto your car floor mat or on the sidewalk. Take a breath and begin. What’s one thing you can see? Can you describe it? Give it some details. What’s one thing you can smell? Is it pleasant? Or does it make your nose scrunch because it’s stinky? What’s something you can feel? Is it the smooth chair arm or your hairy legs? What’s one thing you can hear? Is it something you hear every day? Does it remind you of work or your home? What’s something you can taste? Is it this morning’s tea or your old gum? Here you are. Good job. God values every bit of you and is inviting you into the good and the hard and the scary and the frustrating with all of you to remember he’s in it with you.
Andrea Smithberger [00:09:17]:
We believe scripture is God breathed right. So if our Creator took the time to exhale these words, what would it feel like for us to inhale this invitation? Take it in these words from Jesus in Matthew eleven. Are you tired? Are you 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.
Andrea Smithberger [00:09:50]:
I won’t lay anything down that’s heavy or ill fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. Bye. It give yourself permission to take a nap, to stretch, to do some grounding, to drink a cool glass of water. Let refreshment. Be part of your regeneration.
- Have you ever felt exhausted or tired in your journey towards becoming sexually whole? How did you manage and find refreshment during those times?
- How does the story of Elijah resonate with your experiences of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted? Can you relate to his desire to take a nap and escape from the challenges he was facing?
- Grounding techniques were mentioned in this episode as a way to find a sense of presence and awareness in the midst of tiredness. Have you ever tried grounding exercises? If so, how have they helped you?
- The passage in One Kings tells of God’s interaction with Elijah through various natural elements. How do you interpret the significance of God’s presence being found in a soft whisper rather than the mighty wind, earthquake, or fire?
- How do you interpret the phrase “the journey will be too much for you” when the angel tells Elijah to eat and drink before continuing on? How does this apply to your own journey towards sexual wholeness?