Nov 20, 2007

To Rest or Not to Rest. . .

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it." Isaiah 30:15

Well, tomorrow is the day designated to "give thanks" for the blessings we have been given. A day to take time away from the stresses of everyday life and thank God for His care. However, when we are up to our eyeballs in turkey, cranberries, and out of town guests, running hither and yon from morning 'til night, it's difficult to have an attitude of gratitude. We swap the pressures at work for the burdens at home. In turn, we wake up Thursday morning, and probably Wednesday as well, feeling defeated before the day has even begun.

"How am I ever going to get everything done?"
"I need to clean the house, pick up Mom at the airport, dress the turkey, and make the pies. By noon."
"Will someone shut those kids up?!" (Although, I'm sure you would never think this.)

The past couple of months God has been impressing upon me the importance of rest. And although physical rest is something that God clearly wants us to do, it is the spiritual rest that is paramount. Life-giving. In the midst of busy days like tomorrow, we are in danger of losing our tempers at best and our minds at worst if we are not quiet and at rest in the Lord. So, how do we get there? How do we get our minds to rest?

God instructs us to cast all of our anxieties on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). He also says that if we keep our mind steadfast on Him, He will keep us in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). Isn't that what we need? A healthy dose of peace? A mind at peace is a mind at rest. However, our problem, as outlined in Isaiah 30:15, is that sometimes we will have nothing to do with it. We continually lay our "stuff" down at His feet, start to walk away, then turn around and pick it right back up. We don't trust Him to take care of it. We worry about everything. What would happen if we woke up tomorrow morning, got on our knees in prayer and gave our day to God? What if we just said something like, "Lord, this day is Yours. Help me to accomplish the items on your agenda and let go of the items on mine. Help me to see that just because I think something needs to be done doesn't mean that You do. This is a day to spend with You and my family celebrating the blessings You have bestowed on us and we WILL do that. I resolve to trust your plan for the day."

This would free us up to enjoy the happenings of the day. The pumpkin pie didn't get made? Oh well, I guess we didn't really need it. Maybe someone's allergic. Every room of the house didn't get cleaned? Maybe another woman in the family needs to see that it's okay to have a little dirt in the house. Those kids simply won't cease barreling through the house at 90 miles a minute? Maybe I need to learn to lighten up and enjoy the innocence and joy of childhood. Mom didn't get picked up on time? Maybe she needed a lesson on forgiveness. Or patience.

Let's give it all to the Lord and then trust Him to take care of things and work out His plan. He's always doing something. Can we just let Him do it? Wouldn't it be so much easier to just let Him be God and stop pressuring ourselves to fill that role? Let's sit back and watch Him do His thing. Who knows? Maybe if we're still enough we might actually get to see Him at work instead of missing it because we're trying to do His job.

"Father, we thank you for an opportunity to rest and enjoy our families. We ask that we would be able to be still and quiet, trusting you to run the day ahead of us. Help us to remember that you've got everything under control and to find rest in that. We love you. Jesus, thank You for your sacrifice for us and the freedom it provides. In Your name we pray, amen."


Anonymous said...

I was so wondering if you would be posting this week, due to thanksgiving and all, and I'm so glad to see you did!! And although I am not the woman to be stressed out during thanksgiving - I definitely watch my mom dreadfully walk through the day. So! Thanks! :)
I love you - Aimee O.

Anonymous said...

Another wonderful one!

Love ya
Your crazy aunt