Day 31: True Rest – the Beginning to Never Needing

fall roadThe month of October has sped by and I feel like I’ve barely touched on the topic of rest. I think I was hoping to uncover some secret to feeling at rest, but instead, I ended up frazzled and stretched throughout the whole month.

Much like I wrote in the very first post for this series, Called to Rest, I long for the break. In this case, the end of the month. Here’s what I said 31 days ago:

We spend so much of our lives striving for something. We work to fit in with peers, we fill our calendars with events, we climb the corporate ladder…But how many of us, when the day is done and the party is over and we’re finally alone in our homes, are just plain worn out? We kick off our shoes and get into some comfy sweats and sigh deeply. We long for the weekends, vacation, a holiday or just a day off, but even then we fill those to the brim, finally exclaiming, “I need a vacation from my vacation!”

I’m starting to wonder if we really ever do feel at rest, completely rested in this life. The success of that involves us totally surrendering our lives and schedules, hopes and dreams on the Lord. But since my sinful heart continually fights to grasp at control of my life, it only comes in bits and spurts. Moments of peace, seconds of rest. A Sabbath here and there.

It’s good to want the rest, but it becomes tarnished when rest becomes an idol consuming our days.

The reward may not be in the resting after all. The goal may be the One in whom we rest. That desire we all have for rest may be a longing for Heaven and home with God.

And it keeps me wanting
That mysterious thing
Like a night is waiting for a dawn

The joy is in the waiting
Somewhere in the grand design
It’s good to be unsatisfied
It keeps the faith and hope
A little more alive

This is such a fun song with which to close out the month, from my Canadian friends again.

Every prayer I say (a little closer)
To my resting place (a little closer)
Where my final breath
Is the beginning
To never needing
And I will find my last Amen.

Doesn’t that sound like true rest – the beginning to never needing? Total, 100% surrender to God, trusting him absolutely?

Rest indeed.

Until we reach that last Amen of true rest, continue to give up those bits of crazy in your life to find glimpses of rest. Keep reminding each other to surrender control, to trust God, and to rest in Him. Encourage “one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” — Hebrews 3:13

If you want to a little further reading on rest, take a look at Hebrews 3-4, comparing the Israelites who were not allowed to enter God’s rest with those who believe and are allowed to enter His rest.

Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…

Thank you for journeying with me through 31 Days of Rest. I pray that you find that true rest.

Advertisements

Day 27: A Sort of Coming Home

I sort of thought/wished/hoped that I was done with emotionally exhaustion this month – I mean, at some point you hit the end of your reserve, right?

Emotionally, I felt a little dead inside this morning. I overslept, due in part to an allergy pill taken late Saturday evening (those little buggers knock me out), and arrived late to church, missing the first half section of music.

Part of the sermon by my pastor, Kevin, (based on the text of Exodus 34) focused on the glory of God, where Moses’ face literally shone from being on the mountain with the Lord that he wore a veil over his face.

I was reminded yet again of Revelation 21-22, talking about the new heaven and new earth:

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. — Revelation 21:22-26

And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. — Revelation 22:5

Our Gathering closed with us singing It is Well with my Soul (which I’ve previously mentioned knocks me over at times). Once again, I am reminded that, however drastic my trials may seem, I haven’t lost all that is precious to me like the writer of that hymn. If he could face heartbreaking losses, and still declare his soul is well (because he trusts in Jesus as Lord and Savior), how can I not do the same?

Hayley with me at Easter

Hayley with me at Easter

Still feeling numb after the Gathering, a dear, dear friend came up to me and I realized she was telling me she was moving before the next Sunday and this would be our last chance to see one another before the cross-country move.

My reaction was wooden. “Oh, okay…” *hug* “I knew this day was coming eventually…” She remembered a card for me was in the car. “Don’t move, I’ll be right back.”

I turned to my husband, “Hayley is telling me goodbye.” *light dawns* “Oh! She’s saying goodbye!” And I burst into tears (I did mention I was a little slow on the uptake this morning?).

I was so grateful for that break so I could absorb the full meaning of the moment. When she returned, I threw my arms around her and tried (through tears) to convey some of the depth of all she meant in my life and a fumbled blessing for her future.

How do you sum all that someone means to you and all your hopes for them in a 5 minute conversation? 😕

We reminded each other that as Christians, we don’t say goodbye. There will be a heavenly reunion some day.

As I drove away from the church building, the conversation brought to mind a passage from my favorite book, A Severe Mercy. The author, Sheldon Vanauken, and C. S. Lewis are parting ways, as Vanauken and his wife, Davy, head back to the States.

On that last day I met C.S. Lewis at the Eastgate for lunch. We talked, I recall, about death or, rather, awakening after death. Whatever it would be like, we thought, our response to it would be “Why, of course! Of course it’s like this. How else could it have possibly been.” We both chuckled at that. I said it would be a sort of coming home, and he agreed. Lewis said that he hoped Davy and I would be coming back to England soon, for we mustn’t get out of touch. “At all events,” he said with a cheerful grin, “we’ll certainly meet again, here – or there.” Then it was time to go, and we drained our mugs. When we emerged on to the busy High with the traffic streaming past, we shook hands, and he said: “I shan’t say goodbye. We’ll meet again.” Then he plunged into the traffic. I stood there watching him. When he reached the pavement on the other side, he turned round as though he knew somehow that I would still be standing there in front of the Eastgate. Then he raised his voice in a great roar that easily overcame the noise of the cars and buses. Heads turned and at least one car swerved. “Besides,” he bellowed with a great grin, “Christians NEVER say goodbye!”

Part of life on this earth includes farewells through broken relationships, exciting cross-country moves, parting by death, or the slow separation of lives going in different directions. When we step back from the momentary pain and glimpse the big picture of eternity, today’s parting will feel more like someone stepped out to run an errand and will return in a moment.

A sort of coming home. 

Isn’t that beautiful? I can cling to this while I wait. We can rest in this.

Today is day 27 of the rest series. You can read them all here.

I’m linking up with

Day 20: God is Glorious

Today should have been the most restful day I’ve had this month. My husband got the exciting opportunity to go to the Kansas City Chiefs game, leaving me a day to myself. I didn’t get to sleep in but still ended up with about 9 hours of sleep, so I woke up physically rested. And it was Sunday and I love my church, so that should have filled me up.

What happened? I’m not sure.

I left church feeling defeated and alone. Instead of feeling like I had spent time in community, I felt on the outskirts and in people’s way. Over the course of the day, I gave in to self-pity, jealously, lust, greed, pride, and probably a few more ugly, sinful things that I’m forgetting about in this moment.

[Insert break while I pop over to Ann Voskamp’s site for a moment.]

This is the music that auto-plays on her site. It’s not my favorite thing – to have music auto-playing when someone visits your site – I usually mute it. But this song has grown on me and tonight it provided the breathe in and out that I needed:

What I went to find was this link to surreal landscapes from around the world (take a look, then come back).

It’s looking at images like those and listening to this gorgeous music (check out more on his website: DavidNevue.com), that I feel put in my place. I begin to remember the bigness of God (that I talked about a little on Day 6). I begin to recall how small my place is in the great plan of God.

This isn’t about trying to diminish myself or putting myself down. It’s about taking a peek at the hugeness of Yahweh. An awe-filled moment at the doorway of heaven, not because of golden streets or pearly gates or even the loved ones already there, but because of the glory of Almighty God. This glory we heard about today in church, that Moses could not look directly on and live, so God showed his “back.” Another passage in Exodus talks about how Moses’ face began to shine, literally, from so much time spent in the presence of Jehovah, that he covered his head with a veil. The book of Revelation says that in eternity, there is no need for sun, moon, or stars for the glory of the Lord illuminates everything.

The day still feels wasted, washed up, ruined, screwed up, Today was a day in my own strength, glorifying myself. Ultimately, pretty much of a waste. But, God is still glorious, so I don’t have to fear letting others down or screwing up the day.

If you’ve had a day like this, rest in God’s glory with me.

Today is Day 20 of 31 Days of being called to rest.

God is Glorious

 

Tell Me Another Story

Once upon a time…

But he lied. It’s what he does, this angel of light.

happily ever doesn’t come

there’s no white horse and prince in shining armor to sweep the heroine off her feet.

housework

Photo credit: Ben124. (Creative Commons)

there’s dishes  to warsh (ha), tubs to be scrubbed

and a stomach-ache from too much stress.

…in a land far, far away…

We long for that Calgon land, where all is light and bubbly. There are no care-worn, sagging shoulders, and aching backs, and screaming kids.

It’s a lie. It’s a deception.

And the story ends, the credits roll, the lights come up.

And we sit blinking in the reality. Oh, yeah, work tomorrow. Housework to be done. Errands to be run.

The end….

Well, not quite.

In a land far, far away, a prince did come, not on a shiny steed, but on a donkey.
There was a rescue and there is a happily ever after to come.

It’s Jesus, our bridegroom, our Prince. One day soon he will come to claim his bride, the universal church.
And then there will be no housework, no chores, no sweaty labor. Just peace, and glory and worshiping him forever.

Hm, I went 2.5 minutes over this week, but I couldn’t leave us without the rescue. I’m joining in Lisa Jo’s Five Minute Friday on the prompt, Story. There’s lots of other great posts to read if you want to check them out.
Five Minute Friday

 

Original photo credit: Richard Fisher (Creative Commons)

Original photo credit: Richard Fisher (Creative Commons)

The wedding of all weddings

photo credit: Leanna Grove

photo credit: Leanna Grove

Christmas is coming?

True, but there’s a more exciting event happening this weekend. The wedding everyone has been talking about.

Brooke & Nick tie the knot.

What?

You haven’t been following this celebrity couple’s wedding plans? You’re missing out.

But the hoopla about to happen this weekend isn’t just about two crazy kids getting hitched. It’s way bigger. (more…)

Outside of time, into eternity

Most of us are vigilantly aware of time. How fast it goes while on vacation or how slow it moves when stuck in class or a meeting. There’s a great conversation about time and timelessness between C. S. Lewis and Sheldon Vanauken in my favorite book, A Severe Mercy. Vanauken writes:

Time is our natural environment. We live in time as we live in the air we breathe. And we love the air–who has not taken deep breaths of pure, fresh country air, just for the pleasure of it? How strange that we cannot love time. It spoils our loveliest moments.

He goes on to quote from a letter C. S. Lewis wrote him,

Do fish complain of the sea for being wet? Or if they did, would that fact itself not strongly suggest that they had not always been, or would not always be, purely aquatic creatures? (more…)

A Time to Remember

My brother-in-law passed away last week of cardiac & respiratory failure at 39 years of age. We had a memorial service for him this past Friday which has left me in a reflective mood. My own brother, grandmother and father have also passed away, leaving various gaps in the family and my heart.

Tonight I came across a box containing sermons notes of Dad’s and nestled in among his typed pages, I found a little black book – A Service Book, printed in 1956. Used by ministers at funerals, several passages have been marked by Dad, offered up during one of many funerals he conducted. I have memories of my sis and me, too young to be exposed to the death of a stranger, waiting in lobbies of various funeral homes while Dad led the services. Later, when old enough or for someone we knew, we sat quietly in the back with Mom, listening to Dad.

Enough. More Dad memories in a future post. 🙂

I’m sharing two poems from A Service Book that brought me to tears this evening. (more…)

  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

  • I’m so glad you’re here!

    Thanks for taking time to read my posts in the midst of all the great blogs out in the blogosphere! If you like what you read, please follow me, or sign up to get my posts in your inbox. I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment!
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 755 other followers

  • Follow me on Twitter

  • Check these out:

    31Days_Rest_thumb
  • Copyright 2014 Claygirlsings | all rights reserved

  • Advertisements