Monday, November 14, 2011
Thanksgiving 2011: Order and Rest
Can you imagine if there was no order? Think of the order of the seasons, the unspoken order of the animal kingdom, order (even though it is not always upheld by everyone) in society... We need order. Without order, eventually we will feel unsettled, uneasy, and in need of...order.
I love studying the Bible and realizing more and more how ordered God is and how He made everything to have an order. Even the way scriptures in one book of the Bible directly corresponds to scriptures in another book of the Bible is a clear indication of how God is the same throughout. The protestant Bible is composed of 66 books, written by nearly 40 authors inspired by God, and over the course of years. Only a God of order could have used that to make a life manual that is so congruent throughout each page. I am so thankful that I have a God of order.
When there is order in the home, life is much more peaceful and satisfying. When the children know what boundaries are established for them and what is expected of them, our home life is more ordered. When discipline is needed to re-establish that order, everyone feels better afterwards. This is because order has been restored. It is amazing.
Think about the times traffic lights have been down. People don't know what to do. They forget simple traffic rules and there is a threat of chaos because no one really knows when it is their turn to go. Usually at these times a police officer is sent to direct traffic, and again we have order.
I have had times like that in my own life. Something went haywire or a storm blew in and the lights that keep the traffic in order stopped working for a time. In those times I need my Lord to re-establish that order and bring peace and proper function again. I am so thankful that He does this! I am so thankful I can call on Him to direct traffic and get everything back in order again. He is so restorative.
I am so thankful for the order that comes from knowing Jesus as my Lord and being able to call on Him daily, thoughout each day, to establish His order in my own life and the lives of those I love. He is so kind.
Look at the way He set the world into motion with a quiet order that continues still. Don't you think He can handle the day to day concerns of your life, as well?
Day 14: Rest
Order doesn't only bring peace. It also brings rest. Rest is not just physical, although physical rest is very important. Rest is also a refreshing and peaceful state of trusting in the LORD, no matter the circumstance.
This past weekend I had the privelege of going on a women's retreat with some ladies from our church. The theme throughout the weekend was, "Rest in the LORD." I was looking forward to this for weeks because it's been a busy few months, and I knew some good time with my friends and time alone with no precious little ones to take care of for a couple of days would be renewing.
I knew we would have some free time on one of the days, and I continued to ask the LORD what He wanted me to do with that free time. Should I bring my laptop and write? Should I bring some books to catch up on? Should I use that time to cultivate the friendships that have been building? Should I pray? Should I go on a nature walk? There were many things I could do, but I wanted to know what He knew to be the best use of that time for me. He told me what to pack and what not to pack.
Even when the free time came, I was still uncertain of what to do. I loved having the free time available, but I also didn't know what to do with myself. It was kind of funny actually. Hours and hours of free time to spend however I wanted was both wonderful and strange at the same time. I usually only get an hour to myself at a time, and usually I spend that on something on my to-do list. I do choose to just sit and rest or read at times, as well, but this was a huge opportunity.
After asking the LORD again, "What do I do with all of this glorious time?" He gave me the idea I needed. Just lay on the bed in your room, leave the door open to let the breeze in, and listen to music. We had cute little rooms at the retreat center, and the weather was so beautiful! The temperature was perfect, the sun was shining, and the breeze was blowing. So that is what I did. I took out my music and began to listen to Ginny Owens and Chris Rice.
As I began to listen I also began to remember other times in my life when those songs were in the background. I began to think of the times when I was a new believer crusing around in my little truck listening to those songs and learning to love the LORD. I began to think of times in college when I was learning who I was while listening to those songs. I began to think of my time in London when I would walk throughout the city or sit under a tree at Hyde Park listening to those songs...and many others. I thought about the people, the places, and the times in life since I started following Jesus. He reminded me of His faithfulness and of His tender care for me as I lay there listening.
It was refreshing. It was relaxing. It made me thankful.
From there I read some scripture, journaled, went to lunch, went back to the room for a two and a half hour nap, drew with some colored pencils, worked on my Bible study on spiritual warfare, and talked with some friends. It was such a wonderful time of taking care of myself, resting, and spending time curled up with my Heavenly Father.
It was also enjoyable to hear from other women how they spent their free time and how God was with them, as well. That was refreshing, too.
Although spending that much time by myself is not something I can do often, it did remind me of the need to remember to make whatever time I can for just sitting and resting. I recognize the importance of this, and thankfully I don't feel guilty about doing it. I do however let other things take that time up, sometimes in the name of productivity, and I need to learn again how to manage this better.
If you drive anywhere on a public highway you are bound to experience people who obviously have not been resting. They get mad when you are still sitting at the green light a second after it has turned green or if you are going the actual speed limit. They are missing out on the rest that comes from just chilling out and taking life one moment at a time.
Where are you in this? Are you resting in the LORD? Do you know how to?
I am so thankful for rest. Even the LORD rested on the seventh day after creating the universe! How can we think we don't need to rest if even the Creator of everything rested? Thank You, my Lord, for rest. You know I need it because we all do. I am thankful, and I don't want to miss this.
There are many, many scriptures on rest, but here is the one we focused on most during the women's retreat:
"My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken." (Psalm 62:1,2)
Rest in Him today.