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God's Lullaby: The Value of Rest

A Year in the Spiritual Life... Discover Your Purpose: God's Lullaby: The Value of Rest

Thursday

God's Lullaby: The Value of Rest

Sleeping Lion by Rennet Stowe on Flickr (creative commons)

I Have Been a Slacker

For the better part of this year I have written almost every day. This week I have written almost nothing. Mostly because I am ill. I am pretty sure I caught Mono from my youngest. 

It has left me feeling wiped. Sore, and achy I have had marathons of In Plain Sight on Hulu and naps that would rival the hibernation patterns of bears. I cannot say that I have enjoyed this experience: especially when I developed sores in my mouth that were so painful eating felt like chewing on glass shards. 

I am still battling through, but things seem to be getting better. I am writing this and that is definitely a step in the right direction. I have used the time to rest and that is something I want to talk with you about: rest. 

Ya Snooze Ya Win

Are you really resting? 

I wrote a series once about priorities, and one thing I did not really cover is rest. But rest is important. 

A CNN article states that successful people "do fine with five or six hours of sleep". When I am healthy and on a regular schedule, for me this is mostly true. There are times when I need more or less, but if I go to bed around eleven I am usually able to wake up by five and start my day. 

However, if I am up late I turn into a pumpkin, and the amount of sleep I need seems to grow exponentially. The lesson I apply from this is the pattern of sleep is important too. Getting eight hours may be what you need, but if you are not getting a good pattern of sleep in your life then your body will tell you.  

Now, what does this have to do with our walk with God? Well, rest isn't all about the physical. 

You can sleep 8, 12, even 16 hours and still not be rested. When our spirits are troubled, and our minds are consumed by worry, we do not get the rest we need. 

God Is Singing

“Don’t be afraid. Dear Zion, don’t despair. Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs." Zephaniah 3:16-18 (The Message) 
When we come to God with our lives, and find rest in Him, he "calms us with His love"  and the King James version says He "sings over us". 

Some of my fondest memories of my girls are the sweet moments of their younger years when I could hold them and rock them to sleep as I sung over them. We are imperfect parents. HE is the perfect Father. He delights over us and sings over us. We can crawl into His arms and rest. 


Even God Rested. 

"And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made." Genesis 2:2 

Yep- I went there. I know that these days we work Monday through Friday and Saturdays are filled with football, soccer, gymnastics, and all other kinds of activities our kids do. But one day out of seven should be for rest. Sundays can be busy too, especially if you serve in some capacity, but you still need rest. 

Rest for the body and the spirit allows for us to get still. Practicing stillness is what allows us to hear God. 

"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth" Psalms 46:10
There once was a prophet named Elijah. He had done some pretty amazing things like call fire from heaven and bring the dead back to life. But even one of the greatest prophets got discouraged and tired.

When Elijah waited on God, when he got still and began to listen for God, then he heard Him. 

"And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?" 1 Kings 19:11-13

The Lost Watch 

I once heard this story and I will share it with you. 

Before there were refrigerators there were iceboxes. These boxes were literally filled with pieces of ice so large, they would last for months. Cut from huge frozen winter lakes or icebergs these blocks of ice would be shipped into towns and stored in a large dark building and sold to the townsfolk as they needed them. 
One day after such a shipment, a man who had been off-loading the ice realized sometime during all the work, he had lost his pocket watch. The watch his father had worn and his father before him. This heirloom was precious so the man began to search. He implored other men to help him. They looked until it was too dark to see. Saddened the man prepared to leave. 
Then a young boy, around nine years old said "I'll find your watch" and ventured into the building alone. Sure enough, about two minutes later he came out, pocket watch in hand. 
The men who had looked were perplexed and asked the boy how he found the watch so quickly when they had looked for the better part of an hour. 
He grinned and said, "It was easy. I just laid down on the floor, got still, and closed my eyes. Soon, I heard the tick tick of the watch. I reached out toward the sound, and there it was." 

God  wants us to get still. To listen so intently that we can hear Him. So we can reach out to Him and find Him. He has a song He wants to sing over us. We just need to crawl up into His lap, lay back against Him, breathe in His sweet presence, and rest in His lullaby of love. 

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What was your favorite lullaby as a kid? Did you have a favorite you sang to your kids? 

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