Wednesday, January 13, 2016

WHEN YOU'RE FORCED TO REST


It's funny how things pan out. Since the fall of last year, I purposed in my heart to blogging about my "BE" theme, starting with Be STILL. One of my plans was to start the Daniel Fast the first Monday in January to refocus, be still, and draw closer to the Lord. January 4th came along and I did just that. But there wasn't a grace like other fasts. Then, by Friday of last week, I got hit hard with a stomach virus and have been down for the count for a few days. In my opinion, it couldn't have come at a worse time (not that there's ever a good time for a stomach virus to roll up). But after tossing my cookies like it was an olympic sport, all I could do was rest and be still...


Taking a minimum of three naps per day was not on my agenda agenda but it was necessary. What could I do about it? I was sick. Though I was forced to be physically still, a sense of restlessness remained in my heart. In one of my semi-passed out moments on the couch, I went through a few of the songs on my iPhone. I sat still and really listened. Not just to the music but to the lyrics. No song was new to me but in the stillness, the words were like a fresh breeze and blew straight to the restless area of my soul. I was reminded that my waiting is not for a thing, but for Him. As I ceased, the Prince of Peace came and calmed the stormy seas of my heart.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

Stillness sounds like this beautiful thing (and it is) but it can force us to face our ugly. This is one of the reasons so many resist the pause. We opt to be busy and heavy laden rather than face ourselves. We forfeit beautiful encounters with God because clicking 'next episode' on Netflix just seems easier (Trust me, I know. I watch way too much NCIS!). 


Being still reveals our impatience while waiting, our frustration in things that won't change, our inability to trust the Lord. There are things that we simply cannot change or control. In my case, it was getting sick. I couldn't fight it. I could only rest. But I wasn't just sick physically. There were areas in my heart that needed a touch in the stillness. 

Resting on its own won't bring peace but resting in the Lord does. As we are still before the Lord, we are choosing to take our hands off our situations and rest in His hands. There are many things that cannot change and when we run around in a frenzy, they still won't be changed. But when we are still before the Lord, we are changed by Him. 

Sometimes we choose to rest, other times we're forced to rest. 
But what comes out of true rest in the Lord is a beautiful thing.


Additional Readings: 
Psalm 107:29-30 (VOICE)
Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

Reflection Question?
What can you opt out of doing this week (even for a few minutes) to make time to be still?

Song of Encouragement: 
“I Will Wait” by Ryan Kondo



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