Sunday, July 25, 2010

Inner rest

Keeping busy is one of our culture's greatest pastimes. But keeping busy although seemingly "American" and a good thing can also get in the way what is really important. 
What I have found in my own life is that there are neccesary steps to keep yourself from busy-ness. I do not have this "under control" by any means, but I have been on the unhealthy side of busy-ness and know the consequences as well as I have worked really hard to get to a place of continual balance. (And it *is* continual balance--for I always have to work at it and it will never just *be*)

Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Church in New York City says:

"One of the key themes in the Bible is Sabbath. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:27-28)--the Lord of Rest!! Jesus urges us to come to Him because "I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28-30) and no one else will."

How do you get to "Sabbath"--"rest"?

1. Trust Him. Don't "do"--just "trust". Of course we must be obedient to Him, but sometimes being obedient to Him means we say--"Ok, Lord, I am not "doing", I am "doing by trusting".  
Instead of doing everything you think you need to be doing (busy, busy, busy), let go of some of this and trust.
2. Be still. Keller says, "External rest of the body is impossible without inner rest from anxiety and strain." I would venture to say that the opposite of this is also true: What are ways you can slow down to hear Him better? To have the opportunity to give your anxieties to Him. With a slowing of the body, becomes a slowing of the heart.
3. Meditate on Christ's finished work: (Hebrews 4:1-10) Tim says, "It takes deep work in Christ's finished work for your salvation to avoid over-work."
4. Let go. Must you get it all done? Must you think you should? Remember the loaves of bread were multiplied with Christ's power. Let His power work in you to get things done. Let go of that mental work inside your head, "I have to do this, to make this happen.." The Lord does what He wants, when He wants regardless of us. Amen?

The Consequences of No Rest:

1. In Deut. 5:12-15, God ties the Sabbath to freedom from slavery. Anyone who cannot rest from work is a slave--to your own need for success, to your children's need for success, to your family's need for success,  to the materialistic culture, employers, or all of the above. 
2. Over-stress
3. Burn out
4. Depression
5. problems with relationships

The Sabbath means to regularly cease from, and to enjoy the results from, your work.
In what ways can you do that this week to enjoy inner rest in Him?
How can you take a Sabbath?

On being busy or being full: how can we tell the difference?"
Three ways to rest today...."


Anonymous said...

"Anyone who cannot rest from work is a slave--to your own need for success, to your children's need for success, to your family's need for success, to the materialistic culture, employers, or all of the above.
2. Over-stress
3. Burn out
4. Depression
5. problems with relationships"

I think this is very true. The problem is that balance is not achievable from some mothers with the demands put on them by others.

I have demands on my time Monday-Friday from my employer, from my children, and from my home. Unfortunately, during the week, it seems to take that order, even though my top priority is my kids. But my employer usually requires my time during the week.

Then on weekends, I feel like I have to play catch up and do all the laundry, all the dishes, all the kid stuff before I re-start the work week.

It's rare to have a true Sabbath day and if I did, then I would be unprepared for the week ahead.

My loaves of bread do not multiple; they are consumed quickly and it always seems a struggle to replace them, metaphorically.

Working and raising children under the age of 5 has proven to be a very big challenge to achieving balance and rest, although it is sorely needed.

Andrea said...

I would encourage you to just take a good look at your priorities and really seek the Lord to see what He would truly have you do if you are struggling with balance.
I am sorry you feel your loaves of bread do not multiply. I have many many times felt that way. It is a constant work and struggle to find balance and rest in a busy life.
Letting go of some things and trusting the Lord has been a real key in helping *me* find that balance.
As always, I advocate seeking the Lord for your own personal answers. What may work for me may not work for you. This is my blog, where *my* thoughts get their voice.
I pray you find the answers you seem to desperately seek for. Remember, only He can provide them.

Linda said...

I think this is so wise Andrea. I think that unfortunately we are conditioned to find our worth in the things we do. It becomes difficult to rest without feeling guilty somehow.
I have slowly come to understand that I cannot do even the smallest things for the Lord if I do not rest in Him - taking time to listen and just be with Him. He will take my little and make it much - in His time and in His way.

Anonymous said...

this is in response to Anon's comment above...would it at all be possible to hire an hour or two of help a week? I know that financially things can be very tight these days...but a few years ago when my life was so, so busy my husband let me hire a woman to come in and clean for two hours a week. It was a real struggle to come up w/ the cash each week but when I'd walk in the door on Wed. afternoon it was so peaceful to have a clean house. I'd send the kids to their room for an hour or so w/ library books and just rest and read myself.

I also consider a movie for the kids a great way for me to get a rest; they are happy and so am I!

I do hope you can find a way to get some restoration!


TAMI said...

our family celebrates Sabbath on Saturdays - a day with no chores and hopefully pajamas. A day to draw near to God and away from our labors. I am not legalistic about it - we will run an errand, if desired or take kiddos to a birthday party, etc. However, I find that our Sabbath is most successful when we PREPARE for it - just as they did in Bible times. It takes EXTRA work the day before - maybe preparing an extra meal during the week and sticking it in the freezer for Saturday, etc. Also, our kiddos are a little older now, so a day with fresh fruit, toast, easy cereal, etc. is more doable than before - with each one attending to their nutritional needs.

Though in Scripture we have been released from the legalistic aspects of the Sabbath - the wisdom of the Sabbath is still given by God - whether weekly or daily or continually. We are to be a resting & ceasing people. God gives us JOY, reward & blessing when we trust Him and discipline ourselves this way.