God says on the seventh day He rested from His work(Genesis 2:2) and since we are created in His image we need rest too. In the 23rd Psalm David said, “He makes me lie down…” Job’s friend Jophar gives him a crumb of reassurance saying, “You will lie down without fear…” (Job 11:19). With great wisdom Solomon wrote these words, “…when you lie down your sleep will be sweet” (Proverbs 3:24b). Jesus recognized the need for quiet rest when he said to the disciples, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31)
In my career as a teacher and principal I learned just how important rest was. Long hours and a great deal of stress do not help anyone’s health. Burning the candle at both ends, ends up with nothing when the flames have consumed all the wax. I finally came to my senses and retired early. The job was consuming me and I heard the Spirit clearly say this is NOT what I want for you. You see, even though I prayed every morning that I would keep Him close all day, when I walked through the school doors I quit focusing on Him and started focusing on kids, teachers, parents and all the issues and stress a high poverty, inner city, school brings. I ended up quite ill from lack of rest, poor diet, and high stress. When my awesome husband was hospitalized and in a chemically induced coma for 20 days from a Traumatic Brain Injury I had much time to pray, think, and reflect. The conclusion–my career was killing me. Once the decision was made, a calmness came over me that I had not known before. I knew without question this was exactly what God wanted. I needed adequate rest and He already knew this was the only way I was going to get it. Praise God! I listened! and rested!
God’s word says in the 23rd Psalm “…He makes me lie down in green pastures,…” He doesn’t just suggest that we rest He makes us rest. He created us and He knows what we need. We have to pay attention and not try to do it our own way. Remember what happened to Jonah? God said go to Ninevah and say to them what I want you to say. What did Jonah do? He did it his way, ran away, jumped ship and ended up in the stinky belly of a whale. When God says do it He expects that from those who say “Oh, God, You are my God”. Now that’s not the end of the story. God told Jonah, after he got to Ninevah, to walk the city, proclaim His word and then sit on the hill and rest. There’s that word again. REST! He’s serious about it!
Heavenly Father, thank You! for making me aware. You deserve my total, rested attention. I want to do that. Make my life more and more about You. In Jesus Name make it so!
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