Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Just Rest

by Bethany Lashbrook

Today’s Verse: 1 Peter 5:10, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (NIV)

This past December, I was exhausted. You know the bit. The type of exhaustion from Christmas programs, special events, work parties, girlfriend’s parties, holiday get-togethers, church gatherings, hanging of the greens, decorating the Christmas trees, making Christmas crafts, and did I mention shopping for presents? AND, top onto all of this, my job (as in my physical job where I have a title) and MY JOB – ya know, the one where I cook supper most every evening, read bed-time stories, do dishes, clean house, keep up on laundry, play a game every now and again and get everyone to and from their schedule (on time, mind you). And, don’t forget my quiet time; that time that I need to relax, spend time alone with the Lord, read the bible, say my prayers, and reflect on God’s blessings. Did you notice how this came last on my to-do list for the craziest month of the year?

And, in all this – I heard the Lord tell me several times (okay, I’ll be honest – LOTS of times) to slow down. “Slow down. Enjoy. Relax. Let the small things slide. Choose your battles. Come to me. Sit beside me and pray. Quit trying so hard. You should only care what I think, not others. Remember what this time of the year is for.” All month long, I tried to listen to the Lord telling me to take it easy, but there just wasn’t enough time to relax. I even sent out a prayer chain for my girlfriends to cover me in prayer so I wouldn’t get the flu that each of my family members had received.

And then January came; a time to relax, right? Not quite. I could go through the to-do list that I had in January, but I’m sure you are all aware that “getting back in the swing of things” is almost as hard as the actual holiday season. This year, the holiday season left me more tired than rejuvenated. Family squabbles, doctor appointments, unexpected news, going right back to work, no snow days – I just didn’t get that time to rest.

And February came with a bang. After two months of me ignoring the Lord telling me to slow down, it happened. I got sick. Not just a little sick. But, a lot sick. The list kept growing of what was wrong. First it was a fever; then I couldn’t swallow. My muscles ached. I couldn’t get out of bed, literally. I became dehydrated and laid in bed for 3 days. I couldn’t think, eat, cook, drink, or take care of my family, my business, or my job duties. I know the Lord didn’t cause me to be sick. But, I do know that getting sick was an indirect response to me ignoring the Lord’s suggestion of rest.

After I woke, my thought was to apologize to the Lord for not talking to him while lying in bed. I went 3 days without a word to the Lord. I felt horrible, yet, I didn’t hear the Lord rebuking me for it. Instead, he adjusted my thoughts to his restoration of my body. Since then, I’ve been looking in the bible of God’s healing touches, his restoration to all men. Jesus healed the blind and those with disease (Luke 7:21 and Luke 6:10). I am reminded in 1 Peter 5:10 that the Lord will renew my strength and place me on a strong foundation. And, I know that many times, the Lord had compassion on those who didn’t listen to Him (huh, sounds familiar) and restored their lives (Zechariah 10:6). He can restore every bit of what he made because he is LORD, he is our Jehovah Rapha – our eternal Healer.

So, I woke up from my sickness with a renewed sense of who the Lord wants me to be. Basically, I need to smell the roses. Catch my drift? I am healed and for that, I am grateful, but I believe the lesson in this one went a bit deeper than anticipated. The Lord restores my soul and I am glad!

Lord, thank you for your healing touch in my life this week, both outward and inward. Thank you for the reminder of WHO is in charge. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application: When was the last time you took some time to smell the roses? This week, make it a point to sit down at least once and just soak in God and his presence in your life, whether it’s with a good book (perhaps the bible), a romance movie, or just playing a game with the kiddos. And – enjoy it!

Power Verses:
Psalm 51:12, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (NIV)
Malachi 4:2, “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. (NLT)

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