Archive for the ‘Rest’ Category

A Time to Rest

A Pastor at my church recently asked me if I wanted to work with him in the fall to bring a new ministry into the church. I felt excited about it, but at the same time I felt tired. I thought of all the extra work I would have to do.

Then another person in the church asked if I would help out in another ministry. The commitment would be just a few hours once in awhile.

At the same time, I began to notice physical signs of being stressed. I began to ponder what might be causing these feelings. I then thought of the many challenges I have had to face in the last few months. Several of them have yet to be overcome.

I decided right then that this summer needed to be a time for me to rest. I needed to pay attention to the stress within me and care for my soul. I can’t give much when I am exhausted within.

But I hate to rest. I hate to experience the painful feeling within when I slow down and pay attention to them. Often I would rather run from my feelings and stay busy. Therefore, I struggle to rest.

Yet, God says that there is a time for every event under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). This means that there is a time to rest. God does not want us to work all of the time. This rest could be for a few hours a week or a slowed-down summer.

Yet, we often resist rest. We often resist rest because we can’t conqueror and earn the praise of others and acceptance by ourselves.

I read a book several years ago called When I Rest I Feel Guilty. The author felt that he had to be busy all the time to be a worthwhile person. Many of us feel the same way. So, we don’t rest.

God encourages us to “Cease striving and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). It seems that some of us resist the idea that we need his help and refuse to face our limitations. We choose to try to muscle our way through life in the illusion that we can make life work without God. So, we don’t rest.

We would be wise to follow God into his green pastures and quiet waters (Psalm 23). We would be wise to allow him to restore our souls as we rest.

So, how do you feel about rest? Do you think it is a waste of time or a little scary?

Ask God to show you if you need more rest. If you do, ask him to give you the courage to rest and how to best do it.

Read Full Post »

Living in the Fourth Mansion

I have been puzzled in the last few months that so many of my attempts to help out in one ministry or another have been refused. These are ministries that I am good at and have something to give. Besides feeling disappointed and some hurt by the refusals, I sensed a quiet desperation in me that screamed that I had to serve. I had to serve not only to help people, but also I had to serve to regard myself as worthwhile and acceptable.

The latest example happened last week. I volunteered to lead a small group at our church. However, as time went by, I was not notified of anyone assigned to my group. However, everyone else I talked to who had volunteered to lead a group had been assigned a number of people. So, I made some calls but got no response.

As I pondered what God could be doing in all of these refusals, I happened to read something that I had written about living in the fourth mansion. Living in the fourth mansion is a stage of spiritual maturity characterized by learning to rest in who we are, not what we do. At this stage, we learn to receive worth and acceptance as gifts, not seeking to earn them through being busy. We learn that no ministry or anything else we do adds anything to our worth and acceptance to God.

So, I began the process of accepting still another refusal for my services as part of the maturing process that God was taking me though. Then, the door opened. A friend of mine urged me to try one more time to contact the church. So, I did and connected this time and found out that they did not have my contact information. So, as soon as I gave them my contact information, the names began to come in and the group has grown to a nice size.

So, what was God doing in all of this? I think one thing was to remind me to learn to rest in my worth and acceptance I already have from him, and not what I can earn by being active in the ministry. If he leads me to do nothing, so what? I do not lose any worth or acceptance. He does not want me to misuse his ministry that he gives me for a phony attempt to earn worth. He wants me to learn to receive worth and acceptance as a gift by living in the fourth mansion. This will make me free to serve for the right reasons.


Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts