[box] Every Saturday morning, I will be sharing a little snippet from my own personal walk with God...straight from the heart. God has work to do in me too, and sometimes it's not pretty. But my prayer is that as I am honest, He is more able to do that work in me...and at the same time, encourage you as well.[/box] One of the things that the Lord showed me that I really need is to learn how to take a Sabbath. I do not like to rest. I'll sleep, but only because I'm so exhausted that I can't function very well otherwise.
And yet, after my retreat, I found that resting produced in me a peace of heart, joyfulness of spirit, and depth of contentment that I had forgotten was possible. Things that would have triggered an impatient response didn't bug me anymore. I enjoyed what I did, even if it was cooking dinner on a hot day. I had time to listen to jokes, play with a preschooler or engage with my teen.
But in order for me to have time to rest, I need to let go of my own expectations. I need rest from the demands that I place on myself, the things that I think that I need to do so that others will be happy with me. I need rest from the unrelenting lies and fears that keep pushing me to work harder and stay up later.
This is not the life that Jesus desires for me. On the contrary, He says, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28) I will give you rest. I don't have to work for it. I don't have to burn the midnight oil. It's a gift that He gives.
And so today, I'm going to keep it short so I can accept this gift of rest, and with it the freedom from the striving, drivenness and desire for perfectionism that comes with it. Sometimes I think that I can't afford to stop and rest. But I am beginning to wonder if I can afford not to.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your perfect gift of rest. Forgive me for not trusting my life to You. May this day be the beginning of a healthy habit and pattern that will not only feed my soul but equip me to re-enter back into the work You give me with joy and grace. You know far better than I do. Please help me to trust You. In Jesus' name, Amen.