As human beings, rest is so important to our lives and I’m not talking about sleep. I know that statement seems like a “duh, of course, it is” moment, but when life is in motion and it does not seem to offer a pause button, true rest seems to fade away into the distance. But its need in our lives never goes away.
The other day, I had been up since about 7:30am. I had spent a little time with God, got dressed and ran out the door. I worked for a couple of hours, then I worked on materials for a ministry event for the following morning. From there I went shopping for a few last minute items at different stores while eating in the car en route from place to place. My mind was so focused on just getting to the next thing; to pause would bring a delay in my agenda for the day, which of course I had no time for. It wasn’t until later that evening I realized how hectic my day had really been. I had one last store to get to and then I’d head home; not to rest of course, but to complete just a few more things on my to-do list.
I had decided to stop for some coffee and it was right before I pulled in, that a thought came to mind about Ruth, a woman in the Bible.
“She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.” Ruth 2:7b
What wisdom he moved in; but I wrestled with the thought because, hello, I still had stuff to get done.” Then another thought came to take my coffee and go to my favorite place to be with Jesus. And with a slow exhale, I conceded, grabbed my coffee and headed to our place. On the way, He reminded me that the store would still be there and could wait, but our time together could not. And oh, how thankful I am for that rest, because it was in the small 30 minutes I paused with God in the midst of my “oh so busy schedule”, that I found more strength, peace, and joy to finish my duties that day with gladness.
And this my friend, was a good pause; one of tears, prayer and active anticipation to hear the voice of Jesus Christ. The pause grabbed 30 minutes away from my day, but it filled my empty places of exhaustion with strength, weariness with hope and scatteredness with wisdom. Never underestimate time away with God; we never realize how much we need it until we get it and realize how empty we really were. What we are empty of, He pours out generously into our dry places.
No matter how busy we are we must, pause, rest and be refreshed, then repeat whenever you need it. The time given to rest will replenish us with everything we need to finish our day, to get fresh eyes for what’s in front of us, and it will bring peace to our weary souls. And I’m not talking about resting in front of the television or a device of some sort or even being around people that make you laugh, but some real time away. Someone on one time with the One who created you and knows what you need to function at your best.
After my pause, I didn’t even feel the need to rush anymore. I made it to the final store with the ability to really enjoy the trip. I danced my way through the aisles with one earbud in, reasoned with myself on what to get (yes, I talk to myself to work out the kinks hahaha) and I prayed for wisdom when I realized the store didn’t have something I needed for the next day. I even paused for another 15-20 minutes to begin jotting all of this down in my phone. By the time I finished, a new cashier had emerged and I was able to chat with him and found out he had been in a car accident earlier that day. We were able to talk, laugh, and I had the opportunity to give him some encouragement.
Without that pause, I don’t know what mind frame I would have been in going into that final store. I may have been so rushed or I may have missed that perfect moment to encourage someone that needed it. Not only that, but I would have missed the opportunity to enjoy the movements of the rest of my day. I still had things to do, and through Christ, I was given the strength and strategy to accomplish them.
“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.” Luke 10:39-42
There is always a time and a place to be productive and to handle the responsibilities of life, but we must also know when what seems like productivity has become busy work that keeps us from choosing the better: time with Jesus Christ. Taking pauses with Him has to become the best part of our day. We wouldn’t want to go hours upon hours and days upon days without spending time with those we love, so why do we make it so easy to not spend quality time with Jesus? It doesn’t make sense, yet we do it all the time. Pauses with Him allow us to be strengthened, encouraged, gain strategy, make a greater impact in the world and it brings the balance and perspective we need. So with all that being said, let’s be more conscientious to pause with God, for our spiritual health, mental health, and emotional health. You will thank yourself for it and others will thank you for it too. God Bless!
To Worship You I Live by Israel and New Breed
My favorite part of this song is: “Away, away from the noise, Alone with You, Away, away to hear your voice, And meet with You, Nothing else matters”