Stop and rest
“I was working 8-5, attending grad school classes most nights from 5-10, and then heading home to do homework. Not to mention I was engaged and planning a wedding, as well as serving in ministry, and attending church and women’s Bible study.”
Are you tired? Do you feel like your burning the candle at both ends? Do you have more than 4 things on your calendar a day including 8 hours of work? Do you feel like the busy cycle will never end?
I answered yes, to all of these questions not long ago, and I am sure most of you can relate as well! The lifestyles of Americans today are so fast paced. My husband and I have something on the calendar every night of the week, and even when we don’t there are usually competing offers coming in of plans to fill the empty space. Earlier in the year we finally learned the art of scheduling a date night, so that’s been helpful yet we still cram so much into every day. Often I wonder how we can possibly be so busy without even having kids yet. I used to crawl into bed every night absolutely drained and exhausted and most mornings I woke up feeling like I didn’t quite get as much sleep as I needed. It seemed like a never ending cycle, and while I brought it upon myself by making plans and taking on responsibilities, I felt all the things we devoted our time to were valuable and glorifying to the Lord and just couldn’t be dropped. Here is the problem. I have been tired. I couldn’t continue through life like this. In light of the fact that I was not willing to let go of any meetings and responsibilities, I thought there has to be a solution to get me rested and energized.
The other night Ian and I crawled into bed began reading Jesus calling. In the book the author speaks on behalf of the Lord saying, rest to worship me.â€ This statement drew me back. Rest to worship God? How does that work? Worshipping God comes by singing, serving, spending time with Him, telling others about Him. Worship is action oriented, certainly worship cannot be performed through a state of rest. Then, I began to truly think about what it takes for a busy person like me to rest. You see, resting requires me to take time away from my calendar, and even if it’s not physical, emotional rest requires more of me, to trust in the Lord to take care of things. Wow, could it really be that we are able to worship God when we rest because it is in that state that we stop and let Him move? We trust him enough to let him work in our lives and handle our problems because we know he is in control?
I can think back to 2 years ago when I had graduated college I was working 8-5, attending grad school classes most nights from 5-10, and then heading home to do homework. Not to mention I was engaged and planning a wedding, as well as serving in ministry, and attending church and women’s Bible study. Writing that all down, I don’t even know how I managed to fit it all in. The crazy thing is, I never felt more energized and at peace than I had at that time in my life!
The reason I felt rested and at peace in spite of chaos was because I trusted in the Lord and casted my cares on Him. Scripture says, Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 I remember praying over every homework assignment and acknowledging for the first time that God cared about even those little things in my life. For many of you who know the control freak I can be, you will be shocked to know that most of my wedding planning was delegated and entrusted to others who came out of the woodwork to help make my wedding perfect. I started to realize that God did care for my every little need and I could either control my life and everything in it, or put some of the burden on Him, and trust him to get it done. I mean He is the one who ordains everything that takes place in my life in the first place, so me worrying or experiencing stress was just a waste of my time. He already has a perfect plan despite my tireless efforts. I truly believe at this time in my life I had honed in on a great secret and best practice. Cast your cares on the Lord and find rest in Him. It wasn’t until recently that I realized at that time I was truly worshipping the Lord.
How honored do you think God feels when we are willing to cast our cares on Him and entrust him with our lives and daily routine? I can see him throwing up His hands and saying, Thank you, finally someone around here realizes I love them and trusts me enough to let me run the show I wrote the script to before the beginning of time. It honestly is a huge relief and weight lifted to realize worship isn’t necessarily always performed through an action but also through a still state of emotional/physical rest to let go and let God, if you will.
Scripture says, Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28. All we need to do is take the Lord up on his offer to worry about our worries for us and to care about our cares. When we do this and rest in Him, he truly feels worshipped. I encourage you all with this, cast your cares on the Lord, rest in Him, and worship.