Updated: Sep 21, 2019
As 2018 winds down, I ponder this season of winter- a season of healing and a season of listen. That was my word for 2018- LISTEN.
As I understand, spiritual seasons of winter are for hunkering down and listening to the quiet whispers of our God. You will not find Him in the chaos, but in the quiet above the chaos. Consider the space above the clouds when the storm rages below. Not a physical place, mind you, but a place of peace.
If you’ve shared in any of my musings this year, I hope that you too have been blessed by His introduction into this mindfulness. Are you recognizing that intentionality is required to get there?
In this season of listen, the Lord has revealed to me my penchant for getting caught up in the chaos and forgetting that He is present. While it is true that God is omnipresent, when chaos ensues, I can easily forget He is there. He is teaching me that I must rise out of the chaos to see Him instead of my challenge.
In 2019, the Lord is encouraging me to go after the word- REST. I am not very good at rest. In fact, do you know the story of Mary and Martha? Yep, I’m Martha. Interestingly; however, I learned a little nugget from the story in Luke 10:38-42 this year. I’ve always been taught that we need to yearn to be more Mary than Martha. And if you’re like me, perhaps you’ve asked the question, “But will anything ever get done?” What if that wasn't Jesus' point at all?
Let’s take a closer look:
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'”
Take note of the bolded words. 1- Martha was distracted. 2- Martha was worried. And 3- Martha was upset. I wonder if Jesus wasn’t necessarily telling Martha to drop everything and sit at His feet, but instead encouraging her to drop the worry and anger and to include Him in her work?
What if the one thing that Mary had chosen was to rest in Him?
God is present everywhere, but sometimes I forget to include Him in my challenge. It’s much easier to allow the emotion to carry me through the moment rather than stop and give the moment to the One who will breathe peace into it. So this year, I am intentionally going after rest.
Will you join me in 2019 to seek more of His Rest? Let’s go after these 7 intentional ways that we can rest in Him:
Stop and breathe. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, stop and breathe. Close your eyes and visualize your breath. Count to 10 as you breathe in His Spirit and count to 10 as you breathe out the stress. Do this 3 times. Continue to do this throughout the day (especially in stressful moments.)
Visualize Jesus is with you. A dear friend of mine shares the picture of the empty chair. Picture an empty chair in the room and visualize Jesus is sitting there. When the stress and anxiety encroach, give them to Him. Place them at His feet and ask for His wisdom to move forward. In especially tense moments, picture yourself curling up in the Father’s lap and allow Him to breathe peace into your heart. I think this is what Mary knew that Martha didn’t. To sit with Jesus is a beautiful place to be.
Schedule margin in your life. TBH, this one is particularly difficult for me, but necessary. Schedule time where you lay down the phone and the computer and just be. Read a book, journal, walk and listen to the peace in nature.
Spend time with God every morning and every night. The time of day isn't set in stone. You may enjoy spending time with our Father in the middle of the day. I personally like first thing in the morning because it sets my day up on a firm foundation. Then before I go to bed I like to debrief my day with Him and ask for protection as I sleep.
Invite Jesus to go to work and/or school with you. Again, He is there, but there is just something about inviting Him in to your work that makes it less stressful. This is not #2 necessarily. This is what Martha missed in her own work. Remember the song, “Whistle while you work,” in Cinderella? It’s a little like that. You are breathing in His wisdom and discernment in your every decision. Inviting Him to walk with you in your daily journey. Talking to Him throughout your day, just like a trusted friend.
Serve another. There is great joy and peace to be found in serving as the Father’s hands and feet here on earth.
Observe the Sabbath. Even God rested on day 7. If the Creator of the heavens and the earth needed to rest, then I certainly need to rest.
If you’re like me, you like practical reminders. So take this graphic with you, place it on your bathroom mirror and in your car. Have a copy handy on your desk at work or in your book bag. But don’t strive to do these things, instead work them into your life as a natural occurrence.
Join me in making 2019 the RESTest year yet!
Father, thank You for calling me into Your rest. I commit to seek more of You this year. I commit to be still and receive Your peace. I commit to invite Jesus into my day. I commit to choose the one thing that is better- to rest in You. You are my Hiding Place, God. In Jesus’ Holy and Precious Name, AMEN.