We live in a busy, busy world. Gotta check our texts, tweets, and PMs on FB. We post pics Instagrams, least we forget what we’ve done. We have SMART goals. Commitments at home, church, schools, jobs, and in our communities. There is all sorts of pressure around us to meet up to some glamourized lifestyle as seen on ‘reality’ TV.
Can we avoid all of this busyness? Not always.
Lately, I’ve been reflecting on the seasons in life. There are just times where it feels like every morning you are standing at the starting line, waiting for the ‘On your mark, get set, go!’. And there is simply no way around it. Your kids are too little, demands at a job you must keep are too high, a loved one is ill, a spouse just walked out the door…
Eventually, we do need to stop and rest. This ‘rest’ may be for a season, it may be for 20 minutes. But we must rest.
I would rather be on the run all the time. I just love doing things. But what I’ve been learning this year by studying the word ‘rest’ is that we were not designed to run at high speeds all the time.
And that’s okay.
It’s okay to stop. It’s okay to say ‘no’.
It is good thing to re-charge without the guilt for letting things go for a while. Let the laundry pile up. It will be there tomorrow. Order dinner-in and use disposible plates. Shut your cell phone off.
We all need a break. So take it. Guilt free.
I love how Psalms 23 is paraphrased in The Message translation:
God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
– Psalms 23:1-3
We need to spend that time, in peace and quiet in God’s presence. He lets us ‘catch our breath’ and then He gives us the direction that we need to go.
Do you take time to rest? Do you value rest?
Have you ever gotten ready to go somewhere when you really wanted to make an impression–only to find out, when you returned home, that you had your blouse on inside out and the price tag marked SALE was dangling from your sleeve? Or that your earrings didn’t match. Or that one stubborn hank of hair you wrapped around your curling iron in a desperate attempt to get it to behave…took on a life of its own and was sticking straight out the back of your head the entire evening?
That’s how my word for this year has been–that awful revelation of not how I wanted to appear to others–but the terrible reality of self. And it hasn’t been pretty.
It wasn’t as though I didn’t trust…but rather it was WHO and WHAT I trusted. God had to really allow me to hit the bottom, even rub my nose in what was down there and dig a bit deeper, for me to realize how much trust I put in other things, other people, other circumstances. And yes, with that came my own imagined scenarios of how things should work. I allowed the “if only’ and the ‘what if’, the coulda, woulda, shoulda families move in and take up residence.
Then one night I typed the word TRUST into the search bar on YouTube. And clicked on a song based on Proverbs 3: 5,6. Certainly not the first time I’d ever heard those words. In fact, I can’t count the number of times I’ve read, memorized, sang, etc., that very portion of scripture. But this time was different. I didn’t hear the word TRUST as much as..IN THE LORD.
And some of you are, no doubt, saying “DUH”. Why didn’t she remember this? She’s a Christian, isn’t she? When depression hits, a GOOD Christian would go to God’s word first. Right? Then came the guilt, and the blame. IF ONLY I were a good Christian I would’ve, should’ve and could’ve prevented so many weeks of distress. WHAT IF I would’ve trusted IN THE LORD first.
But it wasn’t the Lord condemning me. When I got honest enough to tell Him that I was afraid to trust Him–when I could admit I was angry, and hurt and bitter–when I got so low that I had to allow my family and my friends to see how weak I really was, He said…”come unto Me child…you are weak and carrying a burden that isn’t even yours to carry. TRUST ME…I am WHO I SAY I AM. And you are who I say you are, because I bought you and paid for you by My own blood.
Proverbs 3:5,6 TRUST IN the LORD, with all your heart. Lean NOT on your OWN understanding. In all you ways acknowledge HIM, and HE will make your paths straight.
Does this mean I will never forget? Does it mean that I will never question what He is doing? Does it mean that because I’m a Christian I won’t ever again suffer from depression, or take on other’s burdens, or become fearful?
No–but it does mean that He loves me enough to pick me up time, after time, after time. And it does mean that I’m learning (even at this ripe old age) to
“Let it Go!!
Because HE HAS IT UNDER CONTROL.
Last week our posts centered around a word or phrase we chose to make a reality in our lives. Like usual, we link to our face book pages and always hope to gain more followers.
I was surprised, and encouraged by the number of followers to my face book page who responded by adding a phrase or word of their own. As a result, I started a new group, and if you wish to join please go to my face book page (Julane Hiebert) and add your name and word or phrase and I will add you to the crew!!
But for fun, perhaps you would like to see the words that have been chosen.
REST GRACE (x2) EXPECTANCY TRUTH INSPIRE PEACE GROWTH GRATITUDE TRUST PRESENCE PERSEVERE ABIDE JOY and OPEN MY HEART LORD
Aren’t these wonderful words? The group is not intended to be invasive or guilt producing in any way, but rather a community of hearts who choose to grow in their relationship with God as well with others–to make a difference.
I thought I had this TRUST thing down to a fine science. Really I did. But then…
When our girls were so fragile, for so many years, through crisis after crisis, and then day by day struggles, I thought I trusted. And perhaps I did. I knew there was no cure for their neurological disease. I knew that each hospitalization could very well be the end. I knew that God was in control…because I was also smart enough to realize I couldn’t be.
We prayed–oh, how we prayed, for our girls to be healed. And they were…but not on this earth. God very graciously and gently carried each one home in His own time. I can’t even begin to explain, in mere words, how difficult it was to give them up–even knowing where they were and that now there were completely healed.
Wasn’t that trusting? Didn’t I give them up without stomping my feet, or fist punching the air, with no screaming “not fair, not fair?”
Or had I only learned the proper responses. All the times we were quoted the verses proclaiming that ‘God will never give you more than you can handle’, or ‘All things work together for good…’. I was even soundly scolded by a very devout, Godly man that my tears were a rebuke to God…because God was sovereign and God will never give you more than you can handle, and all thing work together for good.
So I must have trusted. Didn’t I? A GOOD Christian trusts. Right?
Then…then…this summer I came face to face with the truth. Two situations arose that broke hearts…not terminal situations, but very, very painful nonetheless. And I couldn’t fix them…but I should be able to, shouldn’t I? These were broken promises, shattered hope, the disillusion of dreams. Not incurable disease.
But the terrible truth was I was afraid…so fearful that I was rendered helpless. I crumbled. I cried. I shook my fist. But I was too fearful to pray. I prayed and prayed for my girls, and while they were healed, I had to give them up. What if my prayers for healing for these two grands meant I had to give them up. I couldn’t face the possibility. But because I was a GOOD Christian, neither could I admit it. Who would understand without scolding.
Then…God, in HIS time, lead me to the song that is at the top of this blog…Trust….Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight…Proverbs 3:5-6 But then the song adds: Don’t worry about tomorrow. He’s got it under control. Just trust in the Lord with all your heart and He will carry you through.
I don’t know how many times I have sung this over and over and over again. I sang it while walking…five miles a day. I sang it in the car while driving. I sang it in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep. I sang it in church, and last night I sang it while watching a basketball game.
Because, you see…the ugly truth I faced was that my trust, in this summer’s situation, had been in words spoken, promises given, ideas and dreams shared….by people. Oh, yes..they were also Christians. But nevertheless, my hope, my belief, my expectation had been placed on mere humans. Not God’s Word. Not God’s promises. But puny man.
Trust is a verb. It demands action. My sisters on this blog have chosen words that incorporate this trust…truth–He ALONE is truth–rest–He ALONE is rest. Trust–in HIM ALONE .
Please pray with us as we begin this new year.
“The 22 Most Embarassing Pages of the 1990 JCPenney Christmas Catalog” might be an unlikely place to find my inspirational thought for 2014, but there it was.
This sweater – or something like it – was my dream. Pretty, soft and pastel. Girls who wore sweaters like that were beautiful. The kind of girls who styled their hair and had boyfriends and went to homecoming. Not girls like me, who had frizzy red hair, who lived on a farm and rode the bus to school, who’s big social engagement was youth group at church.
That pretty pink sweater – I was convinced if only I had that, it would make me happy. But here it is now, nothing more than a joke on the internet.
Lately, I have been thinking about how easy it is to be deceived by lies, to become convinced that the lies are true. This book I reviewed spurred my thinking. A family member made a drastic, devastating decision because he believed something that wasn’t true.
A couple weeks ago, I was feeling pretty bummed. Home alone on a Friday night. As I surfed through Facebook, looking at everyone’s party pictures, I was wishing if only this or that were different.
But then I clicked on that funny link and it made me think. Would “this or that” really answer my heart’s desire? Maybe I was just wishing for another aqua sweater. What if I measure every thought that I take into my heart and only accept what is true? What if I make decisions and live every day based not on what is currently before my eyes, but on what is eternally true?
True – that is my word for 2014. And how to know what’s true? Check out this verse featured in Our Daily Bread on Dec. 30: The one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then He said to me “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5
Jesus said that He is the truth. I think I’ll be spending a lot of time with my Bible in 2014. Learning and believing what is TRUE.
Abide: waiting patiently; enduring without yielding; accepting without objection; continuing in one place.
How I wish I could tell you that I mastered the art of waiting patiently.
How wonderful if I could say “I endured without yielding.“
If only I could report that I accepted without objection all that life threw at me this past year.
It takes me longer to type the word ‘patience’ than what I normally display of that fruit of the spirit.
My first response to ‘trouble’ is a very loud objection to the whole idea…thank you very much.
And as for enduring without yielding…well, another one just bit the dust.
I can, however, write with confidence that I have continued in one place…and that place is the full realization that to ‘abide’ is not just a word one decides to entertain for a year. It is a way of life that must be applied daily, moment by moment.
It is whispering ‘yes, Lord’, when I want to shout “NO, NO WAY”
It is remembering His plan is perfect when my plans crumble around me.
It is not only allowing His Word to light my path–but to allow that light to reveal the sticks and stones, the dips and swells, in my life that need to be cleared, then being quiet enough to hear Him say” Stay here awhile child, I’ll go first and clear the way.” Or “This is the way…walk ye in it.”
It is ‘staying put’ in Him.
This ‘abiding’ thing is not for wimps!
It is, rather, a word that implies without Him, I can do nothing.
And it is not only a word, but a principle–one that need be practiced, applied, learned and re-learned even as I choose a new word for 2014.
Oh, that I might be faithful in the learning, AND the choosing.
What about you? Did you choose a word for 2013? We’d love to hear how it impacted your life.
May 2014 be full of blessings for our followers!!