Eric hit the nail on the head tonight when he told me that I have to do the hard work of rest. God has been gently and at times very firmly telling me to slow down. He told me through the gentle whisper of His Spirit, through the audible voice of my friends and even through the doctor prescribing anti-depressants for burnout! Despite the clear and obvious warning as well as my desire to rest, why is it so difficult?
Rest isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s not like I can just stay in bed and sleep all day. If only it were that simple! I have to make a conscious decision to rest, to slow down and to find the balance in my life. My family still need caring for, my homes still needs cleaning, my business still needs working on and my ministry still needs me to turn up. I have cut a lot out already and said no to very many things, which has been a good start. It wasn’t easy, I mean I was half way through my campaign for the next local elections and had to pull out. It really hurt me to let the team down and I hate being a quitter, but I knew that I was treading on dangerous ground and had to start letting go of things.
“He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters.” – Psalm 23:2
Am I struggling because I am resisting His leading? Is it hard work to rest because He is trying to make me and I am not? This verse is so beautiful and it’s clear that God wants me to go to a place of rest and comfort but why is it so hard to go there? If it is so beautiful and so peaceful why don’t I just go and lie down? I have several theories:
I am in a bad habit, like a hamster stuck on a wheel going round and round but getting nowhere. Bad habits are hard to break. Even though I see how bad it is and that I am going nowhere, I still keep running. So, my step one will be simply to stop and get off the hamster wheel. Exactly how I do that practically is another story. One step at a time a guess. Every time I recognise repetitive behaviour not producing fruit I will have to stop doing it.
Lack of self discipline can actually be more tiring than a disciplined lifestyle. It seems ironic but it is true. It is hard work to lead a peaceful life. For example, I am a much happier and more peaceful person when I exercise and eat healthy. To rest for me doesn’t mean to eat junk food and laze about the house, it actually means keeping my body in good shape so I am healthy. I cannot recover from this horrible burnout without taking good care of my body and mind. So almost every day, whether I feel like it or not, I try do some form of exercise and eat as healthy as possible.
The devil can be keeping me from doing the things I need to do because he likes me being in this state. He knows I have nothing to give right now which is exactly where he wants me to stay. I know to resist him and he will flee. I cannot rest until I have done the hard work of dealing with the devil. I do this practically by making sure I confess truth and scripture as opposed to allowing my negative thinking followed by words to come out of my mouth. It doesn’t come naturally but we as a family are committed to keeping the tone positive so tomorrow during family day, we are going to write out and stick up our favourite scriptures and stick them up in key places in our home until positive and scriptural confession is normal to us all. That reminds me of an old post called The Power of the Tongue.
Plain and simply, there are times when I am just a silly disobedient child and don’t do as I am told! It is my own fault for not getting the rest I need because when God or my husband or someone who loves me tells me I should or should not do something and I don’t listen then it’s on me.
This is my story, what’s yours? I would love to hear from you, to know that I am not alone in this as I try figure life out. Please chat to me in the comments box below.