I had malaria last week. It was the day before my birthday, and since I had no idea that my family had great plans for hiking in the Aberdares, I was perfectly content to stay in bed reading and relaxing.
After only one day in bed, the medicine had begun to kick in and I started itching to get out and about again. I found out about the camping plans and thought it sounded like fun, so we packed up and went camping after all (minus the hiking).
When we came back, I had a nagging headache and still felt nauseous. I ignored that because I wanted to see a few clients who were making some great progress. I also had some volunteer work at my kids’ school I was interested in doing, and I had a newsletter to edit. Then, I was asked at the last minute to give a couple of presentations to new students at the university where I volunteer, and that also seemed worthwhile. Finally, I had a new client in a far-away time zone to talk with late in the evening—I did not want to miss that!
The only trouble is that by the end all of my activities, I ended up back in bed with chills, fever, and a pounding headache. In fact, I ended up sleeping through my Skype call and having to apologize.
Today, I have come to terms with canceling everything for today and tomorrow, so I can really rest and take care of myself. I made a fresh-squeezed carrot, apple, and ginger juice for breakfast and headed back to bed with a good novel.
As I lie here in my bed, I am noticing the way my body is feeling, the way it is telling me to take it easy. I had ignored these signs before.
I know the power of rest. Some of my favorite spiritual passages are Matthew 11:28, Isaiah 30:15, and Philippians 4:6–7.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV)
Next time, I will not wait for malaria to tell me to rest. Why not take some time for rejuvenation, for a lifting of the load, for peacefulness, and for a quiet mind on a regular basis?
Rest is so rich. It can mean rest from anxiety and worry or rest from work; rest can mean to be secure in a single belief or in the abundance and support of grace. A friend once shared Psalm 127:2 with me, The Lord gives sleep to the one He loves. (HCSB)
On that note, I am going back to sleep.
Question to consider: How do you “take some time for rejuvenation, for a lifting of the load, for peacefulness and a quiet mind on a regular basis”?
About the author
Christi is a global worker serving in Nairobi, Kenya. She uses a business-as-mission approach, offering professional life coaching and spiritual direction particularly to working Christian moms who are overwhelmed and want to experience more love and connection. Christi operates a prayer retreat center about an hour from Nairobi. Christi was caught up for many years in a status-conscious way of living in the corporate world, and realized she needed to make some huge changes when she started experiencing panic attacks. Through many years of her own healing journey, she has become convinced that experiencing Christ's love and forgiveness can make being a blessing in the world a very light burden.View all articles by: Christi Byerly
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