Friday, October 2, 2009

Rest

I have a cold and have decided they are the paper cuts of illnesses; they're bothersome, annoying and get no respect whatsoever!

The most wonderful part about my cold though is rediscovering the power of a nap. When I finally decide I have no energy to do any more, I surrender to sleep. My heavy eyelids close and everything else spins away and I fall deeply into a warm cocooned place. Sometimes it doesn't even have to be that long and twenty minutes later I'll wake up amazed at how much better I feel. Ah, the restorative powers of sleep!

Psalms 37:7 encourages us to take advantage of a time of stillness pertaining to our hearts as well as it says "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him." The word rest here means to be still, silent, to be quiet and at peace.

Our lives are filled with the things that wear us down and make us miserable and these things to others might be like a paper cut or a cold; not that big of a deal but they are exhausting us. Is there a "nap" we can take in a spiritual sense? Is there a way that we can "rest in the Lord" and find restoration for our souls?

There is and it's as intentional as physically snuggling under a blanket. Come before the Lord and lay out all that is troubling, all of it. Lay it all out before Him and then give it all over to Him; put it in His hands. Philippians 4 encourages us to "Not worry about anything but pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. " I Peter 5:7 says "Cast all your care on Him for He cares for you." Can we give over our burdens to the One who is all mighty and has the strength to carry both them and us?

There's more though than just laying it all down. When you nap you not only lay yourself down but also slip away in your consciousness from your present reality. You sleep and shut out the sights and sounds around you. Once we give our burdens to the Lord we need to slip away from our current circumstances and into His sanctuary where we can "gaze upon your power and glory." Psalms 63:2 Recall the God you see in the pages of Scripture and the great things He has done. Open His Word and let the promises there bring solace to your heart. Remember in your own life how God has worked in your behalf. "Be very careful never to forget what God has done for you." Deut. 4:9

When you again open your eyes to your reality it will be with eyes that have just gazed on the power of the God who loves you; and you will find that indeed "He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; He offers strength to the weak. Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

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