Rest is a place God has been teaching me about in the past few weeks – rest in the racing thoughts, rest in the future plans, and rest in the daily movements. To make it even more obvious, the Word has been before my eyes everywhere I turn. When I go on social media, I see something related to rest. When I start studying my Bible, it’s the message of rest and a call unto fellowship. Because you know what? When we are overwhelmed, when we are neck deep in the pursuit of life, we miss the opportunities that abound in the place of fellowship. Why? Everything becomes a race – so we are always running away from something to get to something.
Remember the newsletter I sent out last month? That was the beginning of it all, and I honestly thought it would end there, but no, these words keep coming to me over and again to rest in God’s presence.
You might say, “So, girl, what does your title have to do with all this?”
The Sabbath in Jewish-Christian-Bible terms is a day of rest – a day commanded by God to fellowship with Him, and to arrive at a place of not necessarily physical rest, but heavenly rest in fellowship.
Now, one of the things which stood out to me during my study is the fact that we can find rest in the midst of chaos. I saw how busyness takes away our fellowship from us, and at the end of the day, we are here and there, all over the place trying to create time for fellowship in our leisure moments. But you know what? We should be making all other things work to the dictates of the rest of our time, carved out of what is left after our time of fellowship.
At the beginning of this semester, I heard God say, “All you have to do is show up” and I’m like “huh?” So far, that has been the case. Each time I approach something – a paper, an exam, whatever – it’s only my presence that I need. For the most part, the dots begin to connect all on their own. Royalty, God is with us in this journey called life, and the mistake we will be making is trying to live it all on our own.
How can I give my life a Sabbath?
- Focus on the present
Why do we get so worked up? Because we are existing in 2019, but either living in 3019 or 1919. And guess what? All our thoughts are then directed to the possibilities, the probabilities, the what ifs, the I-should-haves, you name it! And guess what again? No one will find rest through any of those means. I’m not saying don’t plan for the future – plan to make good grades, get a job, run a business, publish a book, release an album, pitch your inventions – plan to do whatever! But, when we permit those plans to consume us, so much that we become crippled with worry, we have ourselves to blame.
Instead of asking yourself, “What if?” Ask yourself, “What can I do now?” Instead of saying, “I really should have…” Say, “This is what I’ll do now.” I have a good example – as soon as I got into my graduate program, all of my professors said, “make all of your research papers for each course about your potential thesis paper.” I thought they were crazy. I could see what they meant, but I thought to myself, “I don’t even know what my thesis is going to be about.” But that was a lie to myself – I knew what it was, but I was worried I might not be able to pull it off. I also got crippled with worry from thinking about it. So, in all of my first semester, I worked on entirely dissimilar topics for my research papers. This semester, I heard them say it again, and I said to myself, “Girl, you might as well just listen”
TBVH, I still don’t have it altogether, but from the few papers I have written, I know which books I need to read in order to prepare, and which direction I need more insight in, and I no longer feel like there is a huge cloud over my head waiting for some sunshine. And you know what? That’s the thing about focusing on the present – it gives you direction for the future. You see that thing called overthinking? It ruins and stagnates lives.
Remember Matthew 6:26-34
- Acknowledge your strengths
Half of the time, we are too hard on ourselves – just too hard. When last did you take time to look back on the things that worked, no matter how little? You need to do that. I do that all the time, and in doing so, I find hope for the now, and assurance that tomorrow is secured.
This is the most important of them all. When you take a step out of God’s presence, you make a flight into trouble. All it takes is a step outside. Don’t forget – you have an adversary who has no job but to roam about. Constant fellowship is very crucial in your life’s walk and in finding rest in the midst of everything. There is an incomparable peace that comes in these moments. So pray, worship, praise, study the Bible, and honor the gathering of those in the family of God – it is that simple.
Notice also that the first two points are inspired by God’s own principles. When God leads a man, he does it step by step. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 7:22, “The Lord your God will drive those nations out ahead of you little by little. You will not clear them away all at once, otherwise the wild animals would multiply too quickly for you.” Do you see that? God works and has always worked with us as humans step by step, not because He is incapable of making life perfect all at once, but you need to trust the process. You need to rest in his ways and wisdom. Secondly, the power of testimonies – whenever you are overwhelmed, look back. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever! (Hebrews. 13:8). He didn’t fail you then, and He won’t start now. God has your best interest at heart! ❤️
I pray that the very peace of God will find you, and that His rest will build a home in your hearts in Jesus name.
With Overflowing. Love,