The STRENGTH to Rest…
One of my favorite verses…Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
“Having The Strength to Rest” is something that I have been praying for these past few weeks. Why is it so difficult to rest? To let things go? To just BE????
A week ago I had substantial surgery and it went wonderfully – I have had NO pain… am not on any medication… I am blessed… but in that, I feel unstoppable – ready to take on work and the world... and that is why my prayer has now become my heart’s cry and a difficult lesson to learn– because even though I feel like I don’t, I do NEED to rest… in fact it is required. If I do not rest, I will not be fully able to do what I really need to do. I will not be able to meet my family’s needs. I will not be able to minister God’s Love with the energy and passion that I have welling up inside. I will be limited by the lack of physical strength that I haven’t allowed to be rejuvenated. The list goes could go on...
This is where, more often than not, I struggle. I know that I need rest… and I know me… that I fight rest - and let’s be open here that it isn’t always an “in your face, doctor’s orders” type of deal – we are talking about something that is required of me as a child of God, one that I don’t always adhere to, one that I am often times disobedient in. The fact is that it does take “strength” to rest. It is changing our way of thinking, fighting the urge to do more, to allow ourselves to let go instead of continuing to hold onto what was never ours to grasp, white knuckled, to that one thing that ‘no one but you can do or have’. The strength to be obedient – to trust – to STOP.
Listen to Jesus' words in Mark 2:27 “Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
Just think of that… He called us to something that He provided for us because we require it! I need to be reminded, in perfect health or otherwise, that the strength that I need only comes from my Lord and Savior, and not from myself. When I trust in His strength – I can rest in His peace. It is only through His rest that I can fully and confidently walk this path, this life, which He has given in every aspect. I need to keep my focus on the Giver of rest and remember that it will strengthen me for what is to come. I need to stop complaining about my limitations or wrestling with contentment because of what I don’t have or can’t do… I just need to rest.
Maybe I feel that I could charge forward… but I shouldn’t. I have been blessed with many wise friends and family members to remind me of that during this time of recovery – my family and I are in need of nothing, seriously… but learning from this time of physical restriction is preparing me for whatever is to come. His plans for me – His plans for you – require that we learn to receive and partake in His rest, through His strength – so that You and I will be ready to take on whatever He leads us to next. When we learn to rest in His Strength – we will trust His strength in every step we are called to take. (This is a lesson that constantly needs re-learning and application in every aspect my life.)
How do we rest? Make the time to just be quiet – Devote time to prayer (a conversation with The Lord), read His Word (The Bible), listen, (I would encourage this daily!), fellowship with other believers (Church and group Bible Study) – hold that time sacred make it your focus… rest first then stand and step forward boldly!
During this week of intentional reflection take time focus on the truth that Jesus took on the pain, the struggle – even death – so that we could rejoice in His victory over it all! He is alive! He is whole and offering you freedom from all that you are trying to work through, whatever is
weighing you down – everything that is keeping you from His perfect peace… His strength in sacrifice conquered it all – receive that and experience His rest!