When You Need Rest

It often takes the darkenss of a storm to show us the light of God’s presence. – Tony Evans.

rowing

Rest.  This one word has such a non-productive vibe to it.  It makes me wonder if there’s more to the idea of rest than a fat Sunday afternoon nap.  Who out there is in a stormy situation or in uncertain place of where life has put you?

As it occurs to me, God gives us permission to rest, but personally I find it very hard to do.   In God’s perfect idea of paradise, on the seventh day of creating, God stood back and left a day of margin for rest.  He said, “What is accomplished is good, and I rest from creating.”  God saw everything before Him was good and gave Himself permission to rest.

If God says it’s okay to rest, to not produce, and stand back appreciate what His hands made, then it’s fine for us to do the same.  Did He obsess over it’s perfection?  No, it was already perfect the way it was.  Of course, this is God we are talking about.  The takeaway I get from His kind of rest is the need to let what we create have a time of margin or rest.  Also,it’s okay to celebrate the good, the right, the produced, the gifts of His hands in our lives.

 

I challenged myself with resting God’s way this past week.  Whenever a worry or stress-filled thought came to mind, I just stood back from it and released it to God.  My mind was filled with more peace and trust.  My questions were quieted.  My mind had more understanding about the care of God than ever experienced.  And I didn’t stew or fret over the details.

I had to choose rest over worry and fretting.  It’s easy to loose sight of the margin God wants in our lives.  I find myself desirous of the filling in the gaps in my human understanding or reasoning, and resort in worry or looking for purpose.  God is teaching me a new area of trust, dependence, and awareness of His security and supply.

In Rest, God reminds me I am not alone.

The more I learn about how to rest, the more intentional I’ve become in standing under His hand of rest.  Resting doesn’t mean laziness or doing absolutely nothing.  Rest brings an intentional action of behavior, based on the awareness and stillness, with a silent trust before the Lord.
Rest says God goes first in our daily conversations.  I believe God works in every problem or circumstance released to Him.  Praying in faith includes all of what God wants to do in our particular circumstances.  Faith includes timing, provision, results or fruit, every unknown, and all details unseen.
His rest covers all the problems you haven’t worried over yet!

With every problem, it brings an opportunity for God to attach provision and His promise to it.  As I was reading in Exodus 33:14 and God showed me something I missed in my hurry through Moses’s desert journey,

“The Lord replied, (to Moses) My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Rest in the journey!  Friends, this kind of rest isn’t just a long Sunday afternoon nap, but a spiritual place where you can release anxiety and worry.  Don’t let your mind fret about the things might not happen!  He has seen your days ahead and knows what you need before you live them.  It’s time to believe God thinks about the kind of rest you need too!

Rest in God is a lifesytle born out of intimacy with Him.  The best “Rest” is yet to come!  What have you found to help you rest better?

When you need to believe

windows to the soul
Windows are like needs, we all have one that needs to be opened.

The other day I read a story of courage.  There was a man who was an invalid for 38 years.  Everyday, he hung out by a place known for healing.  He could see the healing pool but he couldn’t get himself over to it.  It was a very popular place where many people gathered for the same reason.  On this day, he looked at his healing like all the other days, from a place where he only watched others receiving healing he desperately wanted.

He stopped believing healing was for him years ago but kept showing up to see others get what they needed.

All of a sudden, Jesus walks into the healing place.  Jesus was drawn to the invalid man immediately and picked the invalid out from all the sea of hurting faces.  In the mass of the broken, Jesus picks out the guy who has been a regular for 38 years.  Upon seeing the invalid lying there, Jesus asked about his condition.

Jesus gets some background on the one who has been in life’s background.

This broken situation  was a familiar place for the crippled man, but Jesus singled him out.  One man was picked out by the Healer and asked this question, “Do you want to get well?”.  The man responded with the reality he had no one to help him into the healing pool.

His response was the same as others who encountered Jesus.  How often we think of healing in just the physical sense.  But honestly, we can’t limit healing to just the physical realm anymore.  We all have a need in our lives.  Some be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.  We are needy people in need of a touch of God.

Always I thought by reading this story, healing came in the “walking, the leaping, the praising God.”  At last, whoever Jesus touched didn’t hurt anymore.  Truth is evident in their response by the action brought about from a divine touch.  Jesus took care of their need because He was known for healing people.  However, Jesus took care of the needs only HE could see, even in the unseen part of lives.

The lady who barely touched His robe received what she had been missing for years.  It’s recently my eyes are opened to the real miracle in the stories of healing by Jesus.  The first miracle was by faith and then multiplied.  The miracle wasn’t in the touch of Jesus, but by the faith He would!

Jesus has the power to heal everyone of whatever need in the moment!  Often the first healing needed is by faith to give yourself permission to help you have faith!

Faith is the evidence of things unseen and it’s difficult to believe in things you can’t see.  The world teaches us this self-medicate, self-examine, self-control and self-manipulate.  The world teaches to care for ourselves and look to ourselves to fix ourselves.  I wonder how much doubt has played a part in the receiving of miracles in our lives today.  I wonder how many miracles I have missed because I doubted God because of what I tried to do myself.

I’ll be honest with you I’ve believed in God for close to 28 years of my life.  I have drastically changed since I have accepted Jesus as Savior.  But it was some years later before I realized He wanted the whole of me, instead of the just broken parts of me.  They say walking with God is a process, and I would agree.  I believe Jesus loves to deliver us from our chains and set us free.  I also believe doubt is a bigger blockade to faith.

I don’t know where you are in your beliefs about physical healing or what you are asking the Lord for today.  Perhaps you just need to believe for the first time or maybe just believe there is a healing to what’s broken on the inside of you.  Perhaps this is the day you believe you are lined up for a miracle for the things you can’t yet see.  When you hear “Pick up your mat and walk.” Then run with it.  When you hear, “Who touched me?” Own your healing!  When you hear, “Your faith has made you whole!” Remember to thank Him for what He has provided for you.  The miracles of Jesus are amazing and life-changing and it all starts in the believing of who He is.

Believe in God who cares in the most intentional way FOR you.  Heaven’s healing can come in an instant or in God’s timing BUT healing comes by believing God knows your needs!  He sees you and can anticipate every one of your needs before you even know you have a need!  When you believe God to heal others, you have to believe Him for yourself.  We don’t have a part-time or half-time God.  In fact, God stands outside of ALL time.  Praying in faith includes God’s perfect timing too!

So believe, friend, pick up your mat and walk.  Touch the hem!  Ask Him to reveal Himself to you.  He loves to touch you so you can see Him and HIS great love He has FOR you.  He is everywhere, especially where your needs already are!!  Believe there is healing ahead of your asking!

The ministry of faith goes deeper than you know and heals the hardest of hearts.  You can’t outrun His reach to where He doesn’t know how to restore you.  Healing comes in many ways and it’s time to believe HIM!

Living a life of stillness in this busy world

openbooks

Friends, let’s be honest on this day, today.  My  heart is heavy with stuff.  Yeah, I try to put it all together out there for others to see, flawless and whole.  But that’s not me.  I’ve been honest with myself and have taken a long look at what my life what it is about.  In this busy life we call ours, it’s really becoming a management of one urgent crisis or another.

My shoulders are heavy and tired and weak.

“Lord, I lift my burdens to You alone and I lay them down at your feet.  Will you give me some simplicity today?”  I prayed those words the other day.  I simply put it all out there for God to hear.  Liberation came in just in the confessing and I realized that I was trying to do things on my own.

Immediately, I was convicted of some false insecurities that continue to rise up (in my soul and spirit) and drag, weigh, and bear down upon my mind.  My problems, my cares, my duties, my hopes, my dreams were anchored in my own efforts.  “Wait…I thought to myself…I have freedom in those areas.”  Or at least I thought I did.

In the confessing, I realized I was trying to create a comfortable life for myself and my feelings.  On top of that, I also realized that I was covering my life with right “to-do’s” or tasks and such but I was forgetting about the one important thing needed.  Can we just be honest today?  Aren’t there those days we all face, where it takes this kind of realization to see where you need to grow in your simplicity of managing life?

What I heard back from God, (yes, I know it was His voice) was “Will you just walk with Me?”.  

There were a lot of tears involved in the process.  Then I remembered a season in my life that I used to cry often everyday and all day.  My life was full of regret of a list of things that I never accomplished.  My next thought became one of rejoicing because of a major shift and many changes that have occured in the recent years of  my life.  I don’t live a life of regret-filled days anymore.

I rejoiced in the fact that those days of regret are over and now I can choose to adopt the pace of God, my Father, in the life of my today.  If I could let you into my brain for a moment, there’s a stillness that needs to happen inside of your thoughts that causes you to choose your best life in considerations of what you have around you, the blessings in life instead of the regrets of life.  (I am realizing this lifestyle goes deeper than your task list or the things you think about any morning like…”I’m behind on so many things!” kind of thinking.)

Now I’m getting stuck in the multiple list of thoughts that come rising up in a woman’s mind especially when she feels behind, unfulfilled and a list of unmet needs are left open in her life.  Okay, now back to the choosing.

There has to be season that as you are emptying your life of what it isn’t, and there is a choice to rejoice in what it is.  In the choosing to accept the rejoicing, the living, the owning your life, the doing of life, you must celebrate with what you have, and begin believing that anything is possible with God in the middle of it all.

There I said it, not simply said, because life isn’t like that.  At all.  It’s complicated, full of tensions, stresses, and problems.  But when we confess that we can’t do life without God, then that’s when the miracles start happening.  In that way of thinking, you have to admit there is more than what God has intended FOR you and designed you for and you MUST surrender the controls over to HIM.  He knows what is best and right and good FOR you.  He knows how big your tiny shoulders are.  He knows your capacity for loads and He hasn’t forgotten your to-do list.  He put the passions inside of you to accomplish what He has designed you for.

He hasn’t forgotten where He has put those things.  Have you forgotten where your strength comes from?  I did.  I honestly thought…”okay God, I can do this (believing that I had to do what He has called me to do on my own.)  That’s not right honestly, because I need God to accomplish what HE has put inside of me to do and what HE wants to purpose in my life.

Simply said, I need Jesus every hour of the day to live.  Honestly, this IS the life I am in (and I don’t know how it is with you).  I need Him to carry me, to help me choose what I need to be doing, to carry out what He wants me to do, and most days I am overwhelmed simply by His goodness in my life.  I am complicated, full of tensions, and stresses just like you.  Challenges come and go, but I can’t live or exist as His much loved child without Him.

These are the things that are on my mind today.  What’s on yours?