Take a Sec
Good afternoon, everybody. So…remember the other week? When we talked about "Stepping Out" of your comfort zone? Got all kinds of pumped up? That was awesome. So naturally today, we’re a little bit talking about getting…back…in them? Rest. Today we’re talking about rest.
I thought I’d start out by giving a nod to a champion rester. My pup, Lu Lu Rhea. Check the photo to the right. She is never happier than when she is resting on one of her humans. I normally don’t want to be anything like Lu. Because most of the time she’s ripping a paper plate to shreds or making whimpering demands for lunch meat. But today I want to take a page out of her book. Or, more to the point, out of God’s book.
Psalm 127:1-2 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”
We all know the busyness. The demands. The constant stream of input. There are loads of studies out there reporting in about all the ways we’re wired to need rest. Google it; it’s fascinating. As far as I can tell, there is no rogue faction of the scientific community pushing the idea that rest is not absolutely essential to our ability to function. Mind, body, soul, they’re all knit together; they all affect each other; and as much as they require challenges and exercising and work, they all require rest.
But sometimes I think there is so much depending on ME. That if I stop, if I readjust, if I REST, then something I’M holding up with MY OWN strength will fall. When the truth is, anything I’m holding up with my own strength will fall regardless. All rest does is help me see Who really holds all things together.
We talked a couple weeks ago about how we can trust the Lord when we step out. Today let’s talk about how we can trust Him when we step in.
In the comments, let’s do like last week. Share a verse or a story that helps you shut down. That gives your mind a clear place to lie down and rest in Him. Allows you to close your eyes in sweet trust when you are near to your Master the way my lil pupper does when she’s near to hers.
Personally, I love this moment in Mark 6:30-32 where "The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, 'Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.' For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves." I love Jesus shepherding these boys along like "Good job, please have a sandwich." Getting alone with the Lord, making sure my physical needs are met so I can think straight while I spend time with Him, makes a huge difference in my life. And the introvert part of me loves the "desolate place" bit, I won't lie. As much as I love people, sometimes I just need Jesus, a sandwich, and a desolate place. Not forever. But for "a while."
In Chapter 11 of *Turtles in the Road*, Piper has had one of those days. Not a day of crisis or trauma. Just a day of stress and of being overwhelmed and of, ultimately, exhaustion. Everybody been there? Everybody been there.
Let’s read Exodus 34:21. “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.”
It’s very interesting to me that it doesn’t say “when plowing time is over you shall rest.” It doesn’t say” after you’ve had a successful harvest you shall rest.”
Yes, we are to work. Of course we are to work. God places callings on our lives; equips us to get stuff done. But even during those busy seasons, when our minds and maybe even our peers or our friends or our families seem to want to convince us that taking a day or even an hour for rest is an OFFENSE, selfish and thoughtless in nature, please disregard. Please encourage your mind AND your peer/friend/family member to take a break. You don’t work better if you haven’t gotten a rest. You work worse. And you feel worse. When I depend on me instead of on God’s grace I always feel worse.
Love that song--you might've heard it on the radio--"Breathe" by Jonny Diaz. Been listening to it this morning if you'd like to join me.
You guys are so refreshing for this soul. I'll be in and out today, checking in. Love ya'll. Have a magnificent weekend!
*Adapted from the Turtles in the Road Bible study companion.