Friday, October 25, 2013

Be Still and Rest

Sometimes, I can't get past a certain subject to move on to the next. That is the case today. Maybe you don't need it, but I do. Chances are, though, you do. That subject is rest--being still. Yesterday, I talked about the battle, which led to being still. But how do you get still?

Too often, we ask someone, "How are you?" or "How's your day going?" and the answer is, "Crazy busy!"  For people who are self-employed, my answer to that is usually, "Oh, but that's good, right?" because it means that business is good.

Not necessarily. There are many reasons for being busy. Some are good. Not all are. If you are self-employed, you may not have a choice but to be busy. You may have a demanding job that keeps you busy. Maybe you have children who are involved in activities and keep you constantly moving. Many people my age are now caring for one or both of their parents. Or, perhaps you're involved in other activities--fun activities, but ones that keep you busy, nonetheless. Sometimes, we cover up our insecurities, our pain with being busy. If we don't have to stop to look at it, maybe it will go away. Hmmm...maybe not.

Whatever it is, it's taking up your time. We live in a society that encourages us to be busy; there are even "time-management coaches" to help you prioritize your responsibilities. Our cell phones have all but eliminated the ability to "get away".  Even when we're away, we're still connected. I find myself bringing my phone into the bathroom with me at times--like I'm really going to answer it when I'm in the shower? In a world that poo-poos down time, it can be difficult to justify simply resting, being still. Saying no. Shutting down the cell phone. Shutting off the clamor and chaos of our world. Even when we try, the chatter continues in our head.

I told my daughter that I didn't have time to go to the gym. She told me that I did have the time; I just didn't want to make the time. How true. That's true of getting still, resting in the Lord as well. We feel that we have to "do" something. Pray, read our bible, call on the sick, write encouraging emails, make meals for the housebound, etc. But God doesn't need all of that. He just wants our simple devotion. Sometimes, he just wants us to come and sit at his feet. Not say anything. Not do anything. Not even strive to listen. Just be. To let things go. Because I commune with God through music, for me, to listen to some soft, soothing worship music might help me be still. Because I love nature, sitting on a log, overlooking a calm lake this time of year with all the vibrant color might make me feel close to God (I'm not worshiping nature, mind you; but the Creator of that nature). Sometimes, just letting the laundry go, turning the TV off, putting the cell phone away and just closing my eyes and saying, "Here I am Lord. And here You are. I love you Lord." 

It is only from being still that we can find rest. Be a Mary, not a Martha. We all know the story of how Mary sat at the feet of Jesus when he came to visit, but Mary was in the kitchen, clanking pots and pans, hoping her sister would get the hint. When she didn't, Martha had the nerve to interrupt Jesus to tell Him to tell her sister to help her (as if her sister wasn't there, and couldn't hear her?). Jesus tells Martha, You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed (and that one thing is that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life-Psalm 27:4). Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken from her (Luke 10:41-42)...Be still and know that I AM God (Psalm 46:10).The peace that you find from being still, from resting--that cannot be taken from you.

How then, do we rest? My soul finds rest in God alone (Psalm 62:1). He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1). My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest (Ex 33:14)...ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls (Jer 6:16)...anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that none will fall by following their example of disobedience (Heb 4:9-11--read in context: Heb 3 and 4)....In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength (Isaiah 30:15)...and of course, most of us know the one from Matthew 11:28...Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you will find rest for your souls. 

In repentance. In choosing the better way. In asking where the good way is. In seeking His Presence. In drawing near, coming to the Savior. If you're weary, worn or worried, come to still, choose the better way, and simply rest. You will find peace...and that cannot be taken from you.

Blessings Along the Path,

Song(s) of the Day (It's getting increasingly difficult to narrow it down!)
Worn (Tenth Avenue North)
A Little Longer (Jenn Johnson; Bethel Church)
Be Still (Kari Jobe)

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