Originally published Monday, 23 May 2016.
Every edge of my mind was frazzled, tattered, and frayed. The time was 3 a.m. I quickly realized, along with the lack of sleep, the Lord was still dealing with me on my word for 2016. Or rather, I was dealing with the Lord. If you follow this blog, then you might remember my word for 2016 is "Remain". However, for the last two months God is deepening my awareness of another word and its meaning.
Revelation is progressive and deliverance is slow.
Back to the lack of sleep, isn't it true everything seems to hit a wall or sinks to a low when you are tired, spent, or worn out? Is there anyone out there reading right now needs a good nap?
My husband is a great "napper". He has a nap daily to operate on his best strength. Believe me has practiced the art of napping over the years. Even though he knows how to take a good nap, there are nights he doesn't sleep well at all.
I'm another non-sleeper, and often get out of bed more restless and tired than when I started. I used to blame it on my habit of getting up at 3:45 a.m. for a radio job. However, it was my choice to get up at such an early time. I also don't sleep on planes or in cars. I don't know how you travelers do it. So what does the word rest really mean? Is there such a thing as a good nap? And what does this have to do with "remain"?
When the Lord said I will show you how to "remain at rest" one early morning, I thought He was indicating I needed to get caught up on my sleep. But friends, a good fat, Sunday afternoon nap wasn't what He had in mind.
Did you know God's idea of rest is a place? Let's get honest real fast...I didn't know how to rest until God led me into it. Everything about resting, stopping activity and ceasing productivity was very uncomfortable to me. I confess I'm a bit of an over-achiever. Somehow I think God remembered.
We think we know how to take naps or vacations, but do we know how to be really still in the Presence of God? Do we really know how to still our lives, minds, or hearts to hear the heartbeat of Heaven?
I needed another lesson in the art of resting. Another interesting fact is my "word of the year" five years ago was "rest." Perhaps this was the year I rushed through the cliff notes version. Can it really be as simple to stop all activity? What I understand about rest so far, and about 50,000 words later, is if you are being asked to slow down there's a deeper need for God's rest in your life. But something inside me was struggling with the idea. Rest looks like a non-productive pit into quick sand; certainly stuck, stagnant, stale, and sterile.
"The enemy wants to tire you, but REST is a weapon. Destroy the enemy's life by being at peace!" -Graham Cooke
I’m learning to rest and be actively resting. I still fight the “girl on the go” stuff and I don't still for long. But learning the rhythm of His breath...and slowing life down a bit.
The struggle is real friends. I'm not sure where it's all headed, after all this is only May. But I do know this: only God knows the parts of your life which need mending on the inside your soul, and He can handle the fixes quite nicely without any help or from your overachieving. So if you need a nap or a good break, take it. If you need to dwell in the valley, go there. Perhaps you just need to go climb something.
What I'm learning is God is in the valleys too. Yes, you will often find Him in those mountain-top moments or revelations but there's always a valley to get through to get to the next mountain. And the problem with mountains, you don't live there. It's hard to breathe for long periods of time.
I'm also learning the soil in the valley is rich and often fed by a River which flows through it.
Perhaps it's in valleys you learn strength for your battles and struggles. All of a sudden I feel so tired. How about you, are you needing a good nap right now? In this time of resting, how about another dose of heavenly strength? I often don't know what kind of strength is needed in life's valleys until I walk through them. As it turns out, I am learning to regain strength and know a rest but in a much better way.