Troublesome Topic: Rest Brings Healing and Wholeness

Not only does rest facilitate detoxification, it also produces healing and wholeness. In most cases detox must come before healing and wholeness can be achieved, and there is considerable overlap between detoxification, inner healing, and wholeness, but rest is a key vehicle for getting us to all three of them.

 The Hebrew word for peace, “shalom,” means “wholeness,” or “wellbeing.” Peace is much more than an absence of violence. That was a very important concept to the people of Israel. They even greeted each other saying, “Shalom,” thus wishing each other wholeness and wellbeing. In order for there to be wholeness in our lives we need to be at peace with others and at peace with God.

Healing happens when we focus on God and get close to Him. With that healing comes a sense of peace, wellbeing, and wholeness in every sense.

Healing cannot occur during heavy use, as we see with baseball pitchers and bodybuilders. We need to get away; we need to be alone with God; we need to create a sanctuary in time.

Healing Is Not Only about Feeling Better, it Is about Learning Humility

Matthew 11:28


Come to me all you who are weary from toil and who are over-burdened, and I will give you rest.


Come to me all of you who are worn out from your laborious toil and who feel overloaded and I will give you refreshing rest.

Matthew 11:29


Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,

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then you will find rest for your souls because

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I am gentle and humble in heart.


Take upon yourselves my purpose and my way of living and then you will truly be my disciples and the result will be that

your soul will be refreshed and revived. This is because I am different from the religious leaders you are accustomed to with their heavy burdens of legalism; no, I will be gentle with you in the learning process and I will be an example of humility because I have a humble heart; I don’t make it about me (unlike the religious leaders you know).

Matthew 11:30


For my yoke is kind

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and my burden is easy to bear.

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For the way I serve is pleasant and everything I take upon myself is easy to bear [compared to the impossible standard of the Pharisees.]

It seems like Jesus was calling to those “who have a heavy burden” and was offering them “a different kind of burden.” We would respond – “Wait a minute God, I didn’t want a different burden, I wanted no burden at all.” Actually, what we want is impossible.

Rest is not the absence of work, nor the absence of a burden; rest is a burden of a different kind. God’s burden is first of all humility, yet as we practice it, it will not seem like a burden after all. Humility is one of the key things we learn while waiting on God during times of connecting, especially the extended times. We could say that we cannot truly connect with God unless we do so with humility, and yet in God’s grace He has given us a few key ways to learn more humility; I believe those are obedience and rest. God is kind enough to accept our feeble attempts at rest and He will teach us the humility we need as we rest. So humility is both a requirement for rest and a product of rest. The more we rest the more we will learn humility. When we practice humble trust we cease from striving, and then we can draw closer to God. In my paraphrase of verse 29 above you will see that humility is one of the things that Jesus teaches and it is also part of His motivation to be different than the Pharisees.

God’s burden is also love. This is another way He was different from the Pharisees and Sadducees. Love puts other first. His assurance to them was not because doing it God’s way is effortless, but because it does not seem fake, or hollow; it is not characterized by arduous effort with no real value. When we act in love we will stand out different from the rest.

Jesus’ burden, the way Jesus lived, also included sacrifice to the point of death. That does not seem pleasant, good, or easy to bear. But in the end which is better? To live for God and others and die for a worthy cause, or to live for self and die frustrated at God and the world? Living and even dying for a godly cause brings greater honor, purpose, and joy than anything the hollow, legalistic systems of any era can ever offer.

This passage in Matthew helps us understand that rest represents our entire relationship with God; it is not just something we make a priority to do, it is also something we receive. Rest is one of God’s gifts to us. It involves learning to be humble and loving, but when we give ourselves fully to God, we will want to learn those things; they will not seem like a burden at all. In contrast the legalism of the Pharisees was a terrible burden which no one could fully bear.

Deep Healing Requires Deep Rest

In America we have more labor-saving/time-saving devices than any other culture, yet we can’t seem to enjoy time with God. However, if we desire healing for damaged emotions, enjoying large chunks of time with God is exactly what we need.

Short pauses are good for maintenance, but deep healing requires deep rest. Rest (connecting with God) is indeed capable of producing inner healing, but sometimes it will require longer periods of time. Just as physical therapy on a shoulder or hip after a serious surgery to that joint requires many hours and more pain than you think you can tolerate, so inner healing requires bigger chunks of time with God. We could say that the deeper the emotional wounds, the deeper the rest required to heal them.

Many people in our world see their need for detoxification, or emotional healing. They try many different techniques to achieve the wholeness they desire. Because there is demand for it, an entire genre of books has surfaced to address the issues of inner healing. However, most of those books ignore the power of simply connecting with God. The Bible has been showing us all along that the key ingredient in finding inner peace is connecting with God, but we have run right past it to try the solutions of man.

For deep rest consider things like camp meeting or go camping specifically for the purpose of enjoying time with God. We seldom get away just for God; we more often do so for ourselves.

Rest Is Wholeness

Not only does rest bring us to a state of wholeness/ completeness, but there is a way in which rest is wholeness. Rest does not simply imply wholeness, rest means wholeness.

Remember the verse mentioned above where Jesus said, “You will find rest for your souls?” This is similar to what God told Moses in Exodus 33. The people of Israel had just committed the great sin of worshipping the golden calf, and God had just told Moses that He would send His angel with them, but He would not accompany them any longer. To Moses this was unacceptable, so he asked God to change His mind. God agreed to do so, saying, “My Presence

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will go with you, and I will give you quiet rest.” The word “rest” is used as a statement of completion, a fulfillment of God’s entire plan for us. Indeed, that is exactly what rest is. Resting is not just something we do, it is a condition we attain, a state of intimate communion with God. Rest means wholeness and completeness because communing with God is what we were designed for. When we are communing with God we are fulfilling our highest calling, we are whole.


> Rest purges me of the impurities I have allowed in my mind and heart because it changes my focus from me to God.

>Rest repairs my emotional and spiritual brokenness because I am drawn closer to the healer.

>Rest brings me to a state of physical, spiritual and emotional balance because it connects me to a God that is perfectly balanced.

>Rest makes me whole because that is what I was designed for.

So enjoy the healing process.

Don’t get impatient! 

Enjoy your time with Him!

Start building your sanctuary!

(The next section in this topical study is called Celebrating Produces Intimacy. You can go to the first lesson of that section by clicking on this link: The Sabbath Was Intended as a Celebration.)



The verb “to learn” is the root word for “disciple.”


“Because” is an important word in this sentence. It shows that the gentleness and humility of Jesus were first of all motivators that caused Him to treat His followers differently. The idea that we learn humility from Him is secondary, it does not come from the specific wording of the verse but from the fact that humility is emphasized so much in the verse, and since we are His disciples we should follow His example. In the end it is both the motivation of Jesus and something we learn from Him, but the emphasis is on the former.

3: “Kind”

the word usually means “good or serviceable” but can also mean “kind.” Easy probably takes our minds a different direction.


“Easy to bear” is one of the ways to translate this word, as is “light weight.” Even though doing things God’s way is not effortless, Jesus calls it “light weight” when compared to the impossible standard the Pharisees had created and were forcing upon the people.


The Hebrew word used here is the word for “face,” which can also mean “presence.”