Rest Assured: A Recovery Plan for Weary Souls: A Book Review
Rest. We all need it right? But sadly rest seems to be undervalued in our culture today. I’ve written about this subject before, and when the book ‘Rest Assured’ came across my path, I knew that it was a must read. Rest Assured is written by Vicki Courtney, a speaker to women of all ages and the best-selling author of many books and Bible studies including 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter and Ever After.
Rest is such an important subject. Jesus asks us to come to him, all who labour and are heavy laden. In return He promises us His rest. This is a rest that the world cannot offer, but one that is so desperately needed. Frequently we find ourselves overcommitted, pressured, overconnected yet without community, overburdened and overwhelmed. Our lives our full, but what about our souls? Our souls are longing for rest. But if we really want rest, we need to paddle upstream in a downstream world. For rest is countercultural, or so it seems.
Rest Assured is divided into two parts, and it offers a study of rest and also an intervention and recovery plan. It cover topics such as:
- The Badge of Busyness
- The Exhausting Pursuit of Happiness
- Tethered Souls
- Worried Sick
And a recovery plan:
- Prioritize the One Thing Needed: Time for God
- Create Room to Breathe: Time for Solitude
- Give Yourself a Break: Time for Leisure
- Pay It Forward: Time for Others
A “Rest Stop” challenge is included at the end of each chapter for use in Bible studies and book clubs. Bonus material includes a 30-Day Restitution Plan and 100 Ways to Give It a Rest.
While I found Rest Assured to be a helpful and encouraging book, I would also add that I disagreed with a few points that the author made. Courtney asserts that busyness “is not a scheduling problem, it’s a sin problem.” Some seasons just are busier than others, and not necessarily because we make it that way, but because of legitimate reasons, such as being a single parent, having very young children or a demanding job. There are many life situations that we really don’t have control over. Being busy by itself doesn’t qualify as a sin. It’s the heart attitude of the person that determines whether busyness is a “sin problem”. Busyness might be sinful if you are making busyness an idol or you are not prioritizing time for the Lord – but I don’t think that all busyness is sin.
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who is feeling swamped, or anyone who wishes to pursue more rest. ‘Rest Assured’ is the book for women who really want to challenge the status quo and lead healthier more restful lives. After all, God doesn’t want us running ourselves ragged.