God in Action

Learning to Rest



Are you a workaholic? Do you feel you must always be busy working on something and not allow yourself time to rest or time to play?
I understand. I am always working on something, planning something, creating something. My husband is worse than I am. He is always working and rarely is able to turn his brain off from work. Some of that is the nature of his work, but some of it is a need to excel that he takes to the extreme. He acknowledges this.

But, God has been working on me. There are days when I stay busy until bedtime or 2am. And there are days when I feel I am supposed to just watch TV and go to bed at 10:30pm.Recently, I had fallen back into a habit of staying up until 1am. God had been telling me to let go of something and to rest. But I felt I had so much to do. I still work full time so evenings are my time to run my business. Between updates to my website, answering your questions, figuring out what I want to post on social media – I can make this a second full time job.

But that is not what God has planned for me.
Last weekend I went on a retreat with some of my ministry sisters. I had all kinds of plans of things we were going to talk about and things we need to figure out. But the first day He kept telling us “Not yet. Rest.” So we did.
We laid around just talking all morning, then went out for lunch. On the way back from lunch two of us started talking about what we needed to discuss as a group thinking when we got back to the lake house that would be work time.
But it wasn’t time, yet.
It is a good thing that God has placed a mix of personalities into our group. He really does know what He is doing. The two of us who were trying to decide where to start with our ministry discussion, yeah, we are both project managers. Always looking for the next step, then next task to get the job done.
But, it wasn’t time, yet.
A couple of the women decided they wanted to go kayaking so we all went down to the dock. We sat, and talked, and sat, and talked, kayaked, and sat, and talked – for several hours we just talked like a bunch of girlfriends do.  It was so relaxing and so enjoyable!
THIS was the rest that God had been telling us we needed.
We eventually got hungry again, so out to dinner we went.  It really was awesome to not have any agenda for the day except to be together, get to know each other better, learn new things about each other and even discuss where some of us have been struggling with things in our personal lives.
The conversation continued after dinner. Originally we sat down at a picnic table like we were going to have a formal meeting and that just felt wrong.  So we sat on the screened in porch in comfy chairs.  We talked about things we were afraid of, our vulnerabilities, and we told each other what their gifts are and how we see them as an important part of this ministry.
It really was an amazing weekend!
And through all of that girl talk, it became clear that nothing should change about the direction our ministry is taking. We are on the right path and we need to keep following the Holy Spirit’s lead. I think that how we carry out parts of our mission will look differently than we originally envisioned, but in the end, the outcome will be the same.
Oh, I have to tell you about this, too.  For several weeks leading up to this retreat I had the same few songs stuck in my head.  The same basic instruction repeated over and over in my head, “Let go of the shore.”  I had even had a vision, let’s call it a day dream, during worship at church one Sunday.  I was standing on the beach, feet in the surf and Jesus was standing out on the ocean past the big waves where the water appeared calm. His arms were outstretched and He was telling me come on out to Him.
He kept repeating, “Let go. Come to me.”  
For weeks I thought about that vision. I was reminded of it every few hours as another stanza from one of the songs popped back into my head. I added a prayer card in my prayer nook, “What is the shore?  What do I need to let go of?”
On the drive back to Little Rock from Hot Springs after our awesome retreat, we were talking in the car about the weekend.
And it HIT ME! The shore is all of my planning. Quit planning. Just follow.  Jesus has the plan already. I don’t have to figure it out. I just need to follow His lead.
I have had such peace about that. Those songs haven’t been repeating in my head this week.
God really did want us to just rest!  And our obedience had produced fruit over this last week.
I realized that I cannot get any closer to God if my mind is constantly full of the things I “need to get done.”  I need to set aside time with Him with no agenda and no time limit.
I need to rest in God.  I don’t think I really knew what that meant until this past weekend.