Today I have the privilege of bringing you a guest post by my precious sister, Shanda Oakley. If you're thirsty for some orange juice, I'm posting on her blog today. You can like her here, follow her here and you definitely want to read more of her stuff here. I know this post will be a refreshing stop in your day. Please give my sweet friend some comment love!
This morning, as I was driving to my weekly bible study, I was praying aloud in the car. It is the only place I am completely alone and no one but God can hear me. There are no disruptions. I cannot even answer my phone as driving and talking is illegal in California. I know that as I have already been pulled over twice. So this is the one of the most peaceful times I have to pray.
I came to a time in my prayer where I asked God to impress on my heart anything He desired. I drove silently, waiting for Him to speak.
It dawned on me that I was driving in the fast lane and that this was a pattern for me. It had nothing to do with the speeding ticket, lying on the kitchen counter, due to be paid. I actually live in the fast lane of service and over commitments. I long for slow walks in the mountains, leisurely lunch with friends and time to read the many books I have started but remain unfinished. Yet, I have so many commitments that I cannot afford to move over into the slow lane.
As I was listening for God to speak, the fast lane came to a sudden halt and I was sitting, unmoving on the interstate. Could He have said it any plainer? I did not need to move to the slow lane, I needed to get off the road all together and just stop.
If God took a day to rest, and expected the Israelites to honor ‘the Sabbath’, then that rule should also apply to me. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” It is in the stillness that God speaks to us and fills us with the energy to carry on our service to Him. He also gives us wisdom to plan our schedules in a way that is honoring to Him.
I believe we need to come quietly before Him every day. But there are times when we need a whole day, or even more, to step back from activity and dwell in His presence. Mark 6:31 reads, “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, Jesus said to the apostles, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'” (NIV)
When we rest our bodies from activity and rest our souls in His presence, He restores us, recharges our batteries, and then sends us out with renewed energy and passion.
Not only is it crucial for us to practice rest and relaxation, it is also important that we teach that as a priority for our children. We often keep them moving from one activity to another to keep them busy when we should also be teaching them the importance of being still. Let’s model rest for our children just as Jesus modeled it to his disciples.