One of the best things you can do is relax. I don’t mean take a vacation or spend a lot of money to go to a fancy resort. Stress is killing us slowly and making us more miserable than we know. This world and its pace, even in non-working hours, is sapping our creativity and our ability to release in relaxation. When my children were young and needed to sleep, I would relax them. They liked it so much that they would beg me to relax them at bedtime. I would gently shake their arms, legs, feet, hands, neck, stomach, back and head to loosen them up and remove the tension. They quickly learned the drill, so I even rubbed their forehead to get tension out of their eyebrows. It was all very playful and fun too, but it worked and they really liked it. Some of us need a parent to make us lay still and shake the tension out until we become as loose as rag dolls. Stretching exercises are great tools to enhance relaxation, but these are longer term processes that require careful technique.

Full relaxation is more than physical, we need to lay down our spiritual and emotional burdens and receive the peace of the Lord. Yeshua, (Jesus’ Hebrew name) said famously, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God ; believe also in me.” (John 14:1) He is preparing a dwelling place where we can be with Him eternally, this is our destiny and it is His work. He is calling us to rest in the everlasting arms of our loving Father God. In the Spirit, we lay down all our self interest to surrender to the Spirit’s lead. The Spirit is our comforter and He is able to bring us into the presence of the Lord where every thought is taken captive to Yeshua, Messiah. There is no mental anguish or turmoil in His presence. 

Some of the greatest tension comes from the battlefield of our mind and an associated troubled soul. We must resist the enemy and stand against spiritual oppression, but we do it in the strength of the Lord, His power, His way. Look at a sleeping infant, see how dependent they are, yet how deep and rejuvenating is their rest. The Lord does not expect us to carry heavy burdens. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) If you’re all tensed up and weighted down, something is not as it should be; learn from the Lord and find the rest that is yours. Lord, Yeshua, relax us.

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