Matthew 11:28 Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to Me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn My ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. TPT
God has me in a season of rest and I am learning this is not about taking naps. Rest is necessary and oftentimes overlooked. We run until we crash. Our bodies break down and we wonder why we are sick. As a culture, we believe that hard work is the ingredient to any path of success. Any lack of due diligence will find us asleep in a gutter somewhere. I have a strong work ethic, maybe it comes from raising four kids.
God knows, I can work my fingers to the bone for Jesus. A few years back I heard Him say, “take care of yourself.” I figured my nap here and there was adequate rest for my endeavors to advance His kingdom on earth. I live by lists, checking off my to dos, proud of my accomplishments. My relationship with the Lord is part of my list: prayer time, Bible study, writing, outreach, travel etc. However, an unexpected procedure was coming to force me into rest.
Last September, I went into the ER for medicine for a stomach ache that kept showing up. Next thing you know, I was admitted for a gall stone and a procedure was scheduled for the next day. After that procedure, the following day was gall bladder removal. My gall bladder was the largest the doc had ever seen. Apparently I had been having silent attacks for a number of years. I don’t have time for this, I remember thinking, I have plans. I missed a drive across the country with my grandkids, as our daughter’s family was moving to Texas. I missed a Voice of the Apostles conference with Global Awakening. Next I missed a missions trip to Brazil.
During this rest season, which is extending beyond my recovery, I am experiencing God’s love in stillness. I feel His presence wrapped around me like a blanket. He loves me whether I sleep or preach. Just as a parent loves their newborn who can do nothing, God loves us while we can do nothing. Think about all those people in nursing homes, imprisoned, and in the hospital. It is foolish to think they are not loved. I ministered in nursing homes. They are called, “rest” homes. God loves them as much as He does the evangelist bringing in the multitudes.
The Lord will give us rest as we go to Him and lay our burdens down at the cross. He will refresh and renew our life filling us with His peace. Resting in the Lord is to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen. It’s worship and thanksgiving and an invitation to draw near to Him. It’s aligning with the kingdom of heaven. Forced rest became a season of delight with the understanding that rest is more than just sleep. A place of stillness, hearing His voice, receiving revelation and renewal, my life is forever changed.