Thursday, January 12, 2012

Grace on a Thursday: Fighting to Rest

I forget that rest is holy.

I decide that, instead, it is a waste of time. It is unproductive. It is indulgent. It is selfish.

But in truth, it is ordained for my life. And I forget that.

When the laundry is piled high, counters are cluttered, and demands are constant, I forget that rest is still a part of God's plan for my day. In His grace, He calls us to it.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I have everything I need.

This morning, I chose it. Yeah, I hadn't written my post for today yet. Yeah, the counters covered in school papers and breakfast dishes were shouting at me. Yeah, I had the pile of clean sheets in my hand. I started to carry them to my daughter's room to change them and busy about the day's chores. But today, I remembered.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

I set the sheets down against the roar of arguments lining up in my heart. Picked up my Bible and my memorizing notebook, and chose to rest my spirit. I read a chapter, practiced my verses, and then I took a much needed nap. Yeah, it was not even 9 a.m. yet. But God was whispering to me how much I needed it. The fight to stop doing stuff was a rough one. Obedience is often swimming upstream, against all logic sometimes. God knows that without rest, my body and soul will get sick. This favor that I don't deserve...this grace He pours out beckons me to follow.

He leads me beside quiet waters.

I woke up shocked that two hours had passed, and the second battle began. The same thoughts assaulted me - indulgent, selfish, wasteful, unproductive - and I had to hack at them as with a machete in a jungle as I got dressed. Satan is quite proficient at this strategy, I thought. He does a fine job of keeping us busy and emptied, unable to give because we do not have.

This life strips us down. Every day wears on us enough that repairs are required daily. But I have to ask myself: Do I even believe that God would rather have me rest than have me working for Him? Doing my best performance as a Christian woman? It is His grace that stops us mid-performance and says, "Rest your body, rest your mind, rest your spirit...only in rest can you find my best."

He restores my soul.

A friend told me yesterday that she's been having sleepless nights. One after another, she lies in bed awake. Unable to rest. She told me that finally, a few nights ago, she cried out to God, saying, "HERE! Take it all!" She didn't even tell me what the "all" was. She didn't have to. (We know exactly what she means, don't we?) And not surprisingly, she fell right to sleep.

May you, my friend, find rest this weekend. May you feel truly restored in your body, mind, and spirit.

But expect to encounter a fight along the way.

I suggest a machete.



  1. For me resting takes discipline. I struggle through the list you wrote about...fear of being lazy, unproductive, selfish. Sometimes I run myself ragged because I won't rest. And then, when I'm finally aching for rest, I have to drive kids, or go to sports tournaments, or take care of church stuff. Thanks for the encouragement to get over it and rest! I'm pretty sure I'll need a machete.

  2. Beautiful woven Les. It is too true. Last night we got home from the shop at 10:30 and I intended on resting. I failed to pull the machete, swept the floors, cleared the table of the papers littering it and started in again on shop paperwork in the living room. Grrrr. I plan on getting a sheath at the ready for that machete.

    Michelle M

  3. "Do I even believe that God would rather have me rest than have me working for Him?"

    Oh, yes he does. I learned that the hard way... doing, doing, doing, for Him until I became physically and spiritually ill. I have learned a very hard lesson the past couple years. He has been walking me through the valley and I often pray Psalm 23. Resting in Him should have been my first priority all along. Thank you for this reminder.

    I mentioned you in a "blogger award" I was tagged in and am passing along. Yours is one of the blogs God has really encouraged me with this past year. Thank you so much!!

  4. i needed to read this this morning. life is full and busy and i often forget that i do need to rest in him and give it all to him.
    today i'm resting.
    thanks leslie for another out of the park post.