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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Rest a while - you'll need it!

We all have those moments when we just feel like we aren't going to get to where we hoped to get to, finish what we hoped to finish, or just accomplish that one big thing we set in our sights.  What we do with those moments matters because it often determines if we will ever pick up the task again, or direct our focus toward it.  If we get defeated by having to put down the pencil when we are trying to finish a rough draft of a book just so we can rest our minds and renew our creative juices, we'd never finish the book.  We cannot think of having to "rest" in between the spaces or seasons of "accomplishing stuff" as a negative thing.  In fact, I think God purposefully gives us some seasons in our lives where we kind of "coast" for a while, though they aren't long, because he knows we'd be overwhelmed if he didn't.  He knows our personality and our emotional make-up.  So, just because you need to step back for a moment, don't beat yourself up over it - God isn't finished, so you don't need to think it is all over for you!

I am sure that the good work God began in you will continue until he completes it on the day when Jesus Christ comes again. (Philippians 1:6 ERV)

The seasons of mad-paced, gotta get 'er done frenzy would be our undoing if they continued on and on.  Since this is the case, don't you think it a reasonable thing that God gives us "pauses" in our growth?  It isn't that we aren't still soaking in his nourishment and provision - it is just that we aren't growing at the same pace as we were when we were in that "push forward" kind of determination.  We just want to be sure we don't stop growing all together! That would signify something we have come to appreciate as "death"!  In the simplest of terms, death is the total and permanent cessation of the vital functions of a living thing.  Slowed growth doesn't mean we are about to die - it means our bodies, minds, spirits, and emotions have been under enough "pressure" to grow for a little while - we need to rest and renew.

In some cultures, death is something they actually wanted to attain!  To them it meant the passing from this life into a better one - a higher "plane" of existence.  While this isn't exactly as scripture explains death, it has some merit in considering.  Death is really a passing from one plane of existence into another - right?  Equally true is the fact of life being the passage from one plane of existence into another!  God begins good things in us all the time.  They are like the tiny seedlings I find springing up in my garden from the seeds planted there much earlier.  They aren't strong enough to survive yet, but they are signs of life and of more to come.  In examining our lives, we find lots and lots of signs of life - promises of more and more to come.  We just need to not lose heart when we don't see those things coming at the pace we might have imagined!

I have dieted a good many times in my life.  In reality, I want a quick "pill" I can take which will shed the weight in like seven days!  Let me get out of what I got into in short order because the distance between the present weight and the desired weight is a bigger distance than I would have originally judged to be the case, especially since healthy weight loss occurs at a pace of about 2-3 pounds a week!  If I am 50 pounds overweight, that means I am on a diet for an eternity!  This is why those who coach us on weight loss don't have us set these type of lofty goals.  In fact, they focus us on the ten pound goal first, then set an new one, and so on.  Why?  We'd get defeated by the lack of "huge" progress if we just focused on the one to two pounds we lose a week!  The same is true in our spiritual lives - focus on the small goals and they will mount up to help you realize the bigger ones. 

We can count on one thing - God isn't finished with us.  He may be giving us seasons of rest, followed by some intense seasons of growth, but he won't stop until he brings us to the place he desires for us to be.  We might want to focus on the fact we don't feel growth occurring right now, but he is focusing on getting us rested for the growth opportunity he has coming for us just around the corner!  Just sayin!