I am always on the go… very seldom do I sit down and “rest”. When I was a little girl my nick name was Sugar Bear because I had an uncle that loved Sugar Crisp cereal and I loved them too! I got caught eating “his Sugar Crisp” and from then on I was called Sugar Bear and he was called Uncle Sugar Bear. Funny, wonderful memories!
Fast forward about 50 years…as you know I moved my mom and dad up to the Mid Cities area 5 years ago this May, 2014. They live with me and it has been a journey indeed. In the beginning when we were finally getting to know one another again (we had been estranged for 10 years when I was married) I went about my daily routine and I was always doing something. I very seldom just sat down and rested. There was always something to do. My father came up with a new nick name for me… “Miss Whiz Bang Dash About”. Yep, it stuck! This was of course before I hurt my back and before I had shoulder surgery, etc….. lol. I still keep moving a lot of the time though. When my brothers got wind of the new nick name they just shortened it and called me WBDA. Oh we had a good laugh about that but you know… it was so true. I was always on the move. I am learning – reluctantly – how to slow down … some.
Now if God thinks it’s important to rest, it must be important. There are studies that show our body replenishes vital elements when we rest and/or sleep. See “Eat To Sleep…” article. It has a lot to say about that along with some great foods to eat at night if you want a better night’s sleep. I used to have to work on Sunday and some of you probably have to as well, but that is the paramount thing that is a deal breaker for me and any new job now. I have stated that I WILL NOT work on Sunday any more. I love my Sunday afternoon naps and it is after all the Lord’s Day. I have been known to do laundry or clean my room or even grocery shop on Sunday but I prefer no activity except church and a good lunch with mom and dad and a nap afterwards. I have found that if I use my “down time” to rest and connect with God through prayer or music or listening to or reading His Word, it is such a refreshing time. It actually rejuvenates me and helps me feel so rested. Some scriptures that reference “finding rest in Him” are as follows:
Matthew 11:28-30 “28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Mark 6:31 – “31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Isaiah 26:3 – “3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
I love the visual that the 23rd Psalm gives in the first 3 versus.
“The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;”
I have read a book about the 23rd Psalm one time. It explained each verse as to what a real shepherd does for his sheep. In the verse that says “He leads me beside he still waters.” … The shepherd would take rocks and dam up a calm pool of water along a stream or larger pond so the sheep would feel safe to drink the water. You see, sheep are terrified of deep water and rushing water because they cannot swim. Their wool gets soaked and pulls them down. So the shepherd, in his love and knowledge of this, would dam up a small pool of water for them to refresh themselves with. That is such a beautiful picture of what Jesus does for us. Taking care to make it safe for us to traverse and drink in His refreshing ways. To drink in the Living Water. He will restore your soul if you come away and rest. He is there in the quiet places waiting for you.
Since writing the above I have found another book entitled A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23. OH MY!! It is a wonderful book and one that every Christian should read. I plan on doing a series on this one day but I just want to mention that there is no wonder Jesus compares humans to sheep. We are stubborn, headstrong, can get ourselves into the biggest messes, and so much more. Mostly though, we need a Shepherd! We need The Good Shepherd. He is kind, compassionate, loving and oh so patient. After reading about what all a shepherd goes through, you either have to be crazy or really, really love your sheep to go through all you have to – to ensure a good, healthy, thriving flock. This is such a good time to reflect on what Jesus did for us (His flock) to ensure we had a chance to be healthy and thrive. His death on the cross ensured we would be able to spend eternity in Heaven with Him! We do have a choice though. Our choice is to choose Jesus or our own way. When sheep choose their own way, they perish. When sheep choose to follow a good shepherd they thrive. If we choose to follow The Good Shepherd we will thrive if not and choose our own way we perish and are separated from Him forever! Oh No! Let it not happen! Reach for Jesus – The Good Shepherd – today ! He is there waiting to take you into His flock and nourish and love you. Come away and rest in His Love, Mercy and Grace.