When choosing to settle is good for the soul
In Genesis, after God had completed all of Creation, the Bible tells us that God placed Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.
More specifically, it uses the Hebrew word “nuakh” to describe how He placed them there.
Nuakh is one of the words for rest that is used in the Hebrew scriptures. It means to “dwell” or “settle.” This kind of rest isn’t like clocking out of work on a Friday afternoon or going to bed at night. This type of rest is like settling into your favorite chair with a hot cup of tea and a good book or unpacking your suitcase for a long visit at your grandparents.
Nuakh is settling in and putting down roots.
In Genesis 2:15, the account relates that “the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” When God placed Adam in the garden He wanted him to settle into the goodness that He had created for him. There was work in the garden and there were still things to do, but it wasn’t with pressure and rushing and angst. Man was able to settle because he was present with God.
Whenever our lives feel like we are striving and exhausted and untethered, we need to ask ourselves what part of our soul is longing for Eden. Humans were first intended to live in the garden, settled and surrounded by God’s presence. And our soul, whether we are aware of it or not, is trying to get back to the garden. We all long for our souls to nuakh in Eden.
Do you have a hard time sitting still? Does it feel like the work is never ending and if you aren’t going to do it, no one else will? Do you feel the pressure to keep performing and creating because if you stop, your value or worth decreases?
If you struggle with chronic anxiety like I do, you may find that just the act of sitting still heightens anxiety. Anxiety can make it hard to settle.
If this sounds familiar, then I invite you into nuakh
There is blessing in choosing nuakh, and we can be intentional in pursuing after it. We can intentionally seek after moments where we are choosing to settle in and rest.
- We can choose presence with God over the pulls of this world. Before checking your phone for notifications in the morning, first spend time with God’s word and praying and listening to Him. Schedule times in your day where you stop your movements and settle into a time of quietness. Sometimes it’s 5 minutes in my closet while the kids do the dishes and sometimes it’s 10 minutes in my car during the middle of the work day. It won’t feel convenient, but once we choose it and practice it, it will feel necessary.
- We can choose stillness on the inside. Though outwardly we are moving and working, we remind ourselves who we are working for – like choosing nuakh in the garden – still working and moving but without the rushing and pressure of this world. We can work and go about our day with purposeful movement, knowing that God’s plans are best and working within His time frame means no hurry is needed.
Ultimately, we remind ourselves that just because we are not working – God still is.
There will be more discussion on intentional rest and nuakh this year on my blog and in my weekly email series. If you want to follow along, you can sign up for notifications and get a free downloadable devotion to start: