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”?