Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rest (a long one)

(In case you didn't notice, I've decided to try out a "simpler" blog look for a little bit.  I feel like that's the theme of where I'd like to be right now - and I want my blog to reflect that.  Simple, thankful, still.  We may go back to Tricia Nae soon... because she's wonderful.  But, bear with me for now.)

Anyways, I've been wanting to write about REST for a while now.  Mainly because I feel like it's been coming up a lot lately in my life --- first, at my girl's bible study, at church, and then last week at our home-group in a discussion about the Sabbath.  You know how sometimes God just screams things at you?  He's screaming REST at me right now.  

Like most of America, it seems, I never feel like I get enough rest.  

(Not Me)
Last Sunday, our pastor started his sermon by asking: "Why do we live in a culture where so many women believe they can 'do it all' and should 'be everything,' but when asked 'how are you?' they almost always respond 'tired'?  This view comes at the expense of exhaustion and insecurity, not productivity and fulfillment."

Good question. It struck my heart, but I kept right on trucking away... Because that's what I do.  That's WHO I am.

Then, today, his message finally caught up with me - in the most unexpected of ways.

As I write this, Jeff is finally sleeping peacefully upstairs.  He was up (literally) ALL night with TERRIBLE back spasms.  I've never seen him in so much pain --- I literally had to help him even lift his head to take a pain killer....

And, so, this morning... Instead of meeting my parents at 8:30 for our planned "day trip" or showering and heading off to church, we are resting.  I am sitting quietly downstairs - alone, with my coffee, my Bible, and my computer - for the first time in a LONG time.  It feels good.

(Let it be known, I'm not saying that I'm glad Jeff has a debilitating back problem.  Obviously, I wouldn't wish that on anyone! But, I do feel like God works in funny ways.  He needed to get my attention.  Thanks Jeff for taking one for the team!)
(Not my feet)
So... here's what I'm learning:  Rest isn't about SLEEP.  It isn't about the five mornings a week that I wake up and WISH I was "Addy."  (Yes, I sincerely wish I was my dog.) So that I could stay in bed as long I wanted and had absolutely NOTHING on my "to-do" list.  (Heck, she doesn't even have a "to do" list.)  Rest, is about being still... And - maybe more importantly - trusting that God is in control.

(Not my dog)
And, again, I'm brought back to Moses and the Isrealites (which is wild for me, because before this year I never gave the Old Testament a second thought)... God promised them REST in the "promised land," freedom from bondage. BUT, despite ALL the ways God provided for them and showed Himself - umm... the parting of the Red Sea?  Manna falling from the sky?  Pillars of cloud and fire? Seriously people!- they still couldn't trust Him.  They still chose their own way of complaining, and effort, and tiredness.  

And... they didn't enter that rest. 

Can you imagine?  How stupid they were, I think!  But, then, I find myself over and over trying to take the reigns of my life, when time after time God has proven that His plan is good. 

(Also not mine)
In my her study Hoping for Something Better, Nancy Guthrie writes,  
"God does not intend for us to wear ourselves out with meaningless religious activity, filling ourselves with theology, working for him but never knowing what it is to ENJOY knowing Him and be known by Him... There is something better.  And, it's not working harder or trying harder.  It doesn't require more sacrifice on our part.  All it requires  is that we receive what he wants to give us -- that we enter into what he has prepared for us... God is offering us something better... and that something better is rest.  Real rest.  Rest from the weariness of feeling that we can never measure up to God's standards, rest from trying to be good enough or do enough to earn God's favor. The something better is resting in what Christ has done for us, resting in knowing Him and being known by Him. God is holding out to you the gift of rest, the kind of rest that only he can provide."

(...)
And, later...
"To enter God's rest means that we no longer have to depend on ourselves or our resources.  We can lean on God, confident that he will never fail us.  We can depend on him for everything we need, in every situation.  God's rest is for right now, as we choose to trust Him.  He invites us to walk away from fearfulness and worry and anxiety and enter into the rest that is only found in Him." 

This goes for selling our house, or looking for a job, or healing a bad back, or even getting all my papers graded and lesson plans posted before Monday.  How much freedom is in that?  How much REST?

So, today I rest.

(Similar view... but not mine either)
 "The promise of entering his rest still stands." - Hebrews 4:1

"Anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his." - Hebrews 4:10

(Definitely not my baby)
Say a little prayer for Jeff's back... and, thanks for listening to me ramble/preach.  (I'm going to talk "fashion" tomorrow... so have no fear - I won't go totally sermonish on you!)

Happy Sunday!

5 comments:

  1. What an amazing post! I, too, am resting this morning, and it feels so good! Thanks for helping me realize it's okay to stop and rest instead of running myself crazy!

    Love, love, love the simple blog design!

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  2. This is awesome, thanks for writing it!! It's so true too! I love the quotes you posted from the book. So many churches have 8 bazillion things to do & you sometimes are pressured to do it all! It's not necessarily what God intended for us.

    I am glad your hubby is getting some rest & i am so sorry about his back! :(

    P.S. you crack me up "not my feet", etc.

    P.S. again - idk if you've seen the blog "girl talk" (there is a button for it on my blog), but you should stop by. my blog friends Laura & Linds write at it & they are always looking for guest bloggers. Lately, they've mentioned wanting someone to do a post on fashion. i actually thought of you when they mentioned it but didn't know if you read girl talk. But if not, you should!! :)

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  3. i decided to not be lazy & give you the link to girl talk. no pressure, though! :)
    http://www.talkingaboutgirlstuff.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great post. Sometimes I think God speaks to us in surround sound! Hope Jeff's back feels better and y'all get some much needed rest!

    I miss seeing Addy Girl but like the simple look! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love this post! I feel like I go and go and go all the time. Sometimes it is really nice just to have nothing to do. Hope you enjoy your time of rest and hoping your husband feels well soon.

    ReplyDelete

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