I can't tell you how many times I've driven my car well into the empty zone - running only on fumes and prayers! I've never actually run out of petrol on the road, but one time after making it home the car wouldn't restart and poor hubby had to head out and get me some petrol!
Last week I blogged about when we don't feel enough, and the opportunity that this is for us to experience God's strength being made perfect in our weakness. But sometimes, all these feelings of not being enough, of being tired and overwhelmed are like the fuel light on our dashboard. They are warning signs flashing at us to make some changes; to slow down and refuel.
It encourages me that throughout Scripture that we can see that God values rest. From the very beginning, God Himself took a break from working and creating - and He called that day of rest blessed and holy. He set this day up as a pattern for the Israelites to weave into the rhythms of their everyday lives. A day to step aside from work - from striving and doing - a day to pause, a day to worship, a day to be with the ones that you love. Margin for God to fill and provide for - because rather than this ceasing creating lack, it brought the increase that only God can bring. In Jewish custom, even the fields and vineyards were blessed with this Sabbath rest - on the seventh year of use the fields could not be planted and the vineyards were not to be pruned. They were just left to be.
Jesus paid attention to when His disciples were tired, and even though the needs were pressing, He would take them and withdraw from the crowds to allow them the opportunity to rest. God is not a relentless task-master - He doesn't value us for what we can produce, He values us for who we are. It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we are only honouring Him when we are busy, when we are achieving - but God looks at the Sabbath margins that we carve out in our lives and He blesses them. He sees them as holy moments of trust that He is enough.
In Matthew 11, Jesus extends us this invitation:
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace...
How good does that sound - a life marked by the unforced rhythms of grace. We need to weave rest, we need to weave margin into our days, our weeks, our months and years. It will look different in each of our lives but as we determine to keep in step with Him, He will bless these holy moments of rest.
Live today with purpose.
One of my favourite pass-times as a kid was writing. I used to make my own books and write poetry on our old type-writer. Thankfully both my writing and technology have come a long way!
It is my prayer that these posts from both myself and guest contributors encourage you to embrace the season that you are in and to live it with purpose for God's glory.
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