You WILL Find Rest for your Souls

At the top of my church message notes – Make Room for Rest.    Another one of those services that rock you to your core when you least expect it.  A topic that you know you need to hear but don’t’ fully understand how much you REALLY needed to hear it.  Ironically a friend had heard about a portion of the service on Saturday night and told me I would probably appreciate it.  She was so right.  Yes Lord – speak to your daughter’s weary soul and body!

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We are currently in a series called “Make Room”  with the premise that we can’t make God move, but we can make room in our lives for him to move.  Today was making room for REST.  Our pastor, who is equally wise and witty, challenged us with the thought of creating a “disciplined rest” versus a “crashing rest.”  Creating space to rest as God designed us instead of relying on rest after burn out.  What if we had the perspective of managed rest being more important that a managed schedule?  Rock this girl’s world Lord!

In the bible it says:  “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.”  Mark 2:27   Yes.  He created a day because he knows we need restoration and rejuvenation.  A day to reset.  A day to rest.  A day to listen.  A day to be tuned out from the busyness and tuned into him.  My body physically needs it; my soul even more.  He mentioned when he is lacking in rest he becomes more irritated and impatient.  Preach!  So do I!  Lack of rest = lack of fruits of the spirit!  Man oh man can I attest to that.  I pulled out my journal and wrote down words that describe me when I am lacking rest.  Short.  Irritated.  Snappy.  Frustrated.  Non-attentive.   Tired.  Lord, give me rest.   Less me, more you.  Fill me with your fruit.  Joy.  Love.  Peace.  Forbearance.  Kindness.  Goodness.  Faithfulness.  Gentleness.  Self-Control.  Shannon – you NEED to make room for these.

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So, internally my mind starts racing.  Give up AN ENTIRE DAY??  What’s that mean?  A whole day lost of schoolwork, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc!  YIKES!   Lord, “ain’t nobody got time for that” (insert Sweet Brown Joke and if you don’t get it, google it, a must).  The Lord quieted my heart and reminded me that I may not have time for it, but HE certainly does.  “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST.  Take my yoke upon you and LEARN from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light!  Matthew 11:28-30

Our pastor talked about the Sabbath as an act of worship.  I’m calling it my act of surrender.  Surrendering my busyness, stress, over-booked schedule to him.  Trusting that where I fall short he will fill in.  Knowing that I can accomplish more through resting and leaning into him than I could ever accomplish alone in one day.  So I sat down and wrote out this prayer:

“Thank you Lord that you created us to REST and RELY on you.  I pray you give me peace in the faithfulness of obeying your commands to slow down and rest/restore.  I pray this also becomes a season of learning to use my time wisely and work smarter (not necessarily harder).  Multiply these efforts Lord!  Thank you for caring about every aspect of our lives.  Your daughter loves you!”

So how does this play out in my life you ask?  I’m surrendering my Sundays to be my Sabbath. It’s my new day of rest.  No schoolwork.  No laundry.  No grocery shopping.  A day of restoration.  A day of rejuvenation.  A day of relationship with him and those I love.  This idea doesn’t come easy to me.  I cringe at what a day of rest will look like when I have 4 exams on a Monday and Tuesday.  But that’s ok… that’s what surrender is about.  A step of faith.  A step of uncertainty filled with trust.   That’s the step I am taking today.

When the message wrapped up we sang the song “Our Savior’s Here.”

You bring hope, You bring life, Awaken hearts open eyes
With our voices hear them rise, We call these dry bones to come alive
You are faithful you are true , We can always run to
Love that never fails , Arms that never close , Blood that covers sin , Grace that never ends.

Thank you Lord!  Awaken this tired and weary soul!  You are faithful!  You never fail.  I rest in you.

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P.S. – I’m sitting in Starbucks as I write this blog.  I have had two groups sit behind me discussing this series.  God is obviously moving, making room in others lives as well.  He means business.  Thank you Jesus.  Keep making room for less us, more you!

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