Rest is kind of a foreign concept in our culture now-a-days! Instead I find many people, and especially women, are in a constant place between too busy and never enough. Too busy to even “think about doing this or that”, too busy at work or with the kids. Yet I have sensed that on the other side, they have found that they are never enough. Not a good enough wife or a good enough Mom. Don’t have enough time to clean the house or do what needs doing. Both sides of the too busy yet not enough is stealing our place of rest. We look around to try to measure ourselves. Are we doing more than this person? Are we staying busy enough to prove that I am productive enough to stay home with my kids instead of work? Are we doing as much, or more, with our kids so they get all the same opportunities their friends get? Are we keeping up with the others at work so we can justify our vacation time coming up? It is leaving us in a place of shame and guilt and a constant state of striving. Even when we might have a day off to “rest” we are wondering if we should be doing more work? Or we are catching up from the activities we have chosen to do so that we can keep up with what every one is doing!
Is that just what life is going to look like? Do I just need to get away? Vacation or a trip will solve it? I don’t think so because the time off can’t come often enough. So if you find you are in the place of strife. How can you find rest? I think this story of two sisters will help.
In Luke 10 38-42, Martha invites Jesus into her home. And we find Martha’s sister Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus. Martha was fretting about all that needed doing and grumbled to Jesus that her sister wasn’t helping her. Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the best thing. The only place to find you are enough in your busiest days is at the feet of Jesus. Because without Christ we are not enough. I don’t think that Jesus was telling Mary that she should never do anything but sit at His feet. And scripture shows Mary serving with Martha in other places. Mary had chosen to find her identity and worth at that moment sitting with Jesus. Oh, Jesus loved Mary and Martha too, not for what they do. But because they were His. Because they were enough.
Do you ever wonder about the in-between of scripture? Do you think Mary was talking to Jesus too. It says in Luke 10:39 that Mary was sitting and listening to Jesus teach. Do you think she could have said to Jesus when she sat down, “Jesus, it’s so good to see you. Martha and I have so much to do today. We have to prepare all the food and carry in all the water. We will be washing the feet of all our visitors and I am feeling tired today. I am wondering if I can get it all done.” Or did she plead a heart’s prayer to Jesus, “With all of what we have to do, help to keep my focus on you Jesus. Show me all that I need to do. I don’t want to do anything more than you are asking, as that leads me to be prideful of all that I CAN do. And help me to nothing less that what you are asking, so that I don’t miss even one opportunity you give for me to do. I can be so selfish.” Did Jesus respond to Mary and teach her, guiding her and showing her that in Him she would find strength for the day and an inner rest and peace that only comes from Him?
Physical rest is a humbling place. It’s vulnerable. It’s a time to be still. Unplug. Not prove anything to anyone. It’s a place that is still and when you can self reflect and examine your heart. Unpack some choices or look to see where you are at in the roads of life. That can make rest a place that at first can feel uncomfortable. Yet, as you begin to sit in and relax at the feet of Jesus, it’s a place where you can share your fears, concerns, joys and failures. And then give a place for Jesus to speak, to guide to teach. Not in an audible voice liked Mary heard. But in a still and quiet voice in your heart, in His Word, through prayers and things He brings to your thoughts.
In a daily prayer of God show me what you purpose for today, “nothing more than what you are asking” and “nothing less than what you have for me”.
My family has received a gift of rest this June in the form of a sabbatical. So thankful for our church leaders who value rest!! It is scheduled in for every three years and we will be going on our third sabbatical- coming at just the right time. June is a time for my hubby especially to get away, to recharge, to plan and prayer and sit at Jesus’s feet. The kids and I get to enjoy that rest as well. I have some books loaded up on my kindle- a couple fun reads, some practical reads. And books that shape and grow me in my business. Bible Studies too- Psalms and Proverbs. I have my journal and my Bible. I have my walking shoes packed for some nice long walks. And we have piled up some favorite family games. We are going to place where we don’t know anyone and have never been.
So as I prepare for this time away, I have been sticking close to my ever growing to do list! And feeling at times like Martha- am I going to get it all ready to go? It is my prayer for the days during our sabbatical that I will peacefully enjoy the longer extended time sitting at Jesus’s feet and less hurrying in the day. Make it your prayer today! No matter where you are and if you have a full schedule or a quiet afternoon. Be enough and find your rest in Jesus!