A lesson in resting and trusting

I am finding in recent weeks, that my being-my heart, mind and soul-is in desperate and purposeful need of a lesson in rest and trust. Is it just me, or is it true for you that as life progresses we become more weary and skeptical? We could blame it on aging, but I'd rather choose to blame it on how each of us can manage the stress and demands that are placed upon us. After all, we can only take so much, and that is different for each person, before something's gotta give. We each have a story to to tell about how life has treated us thus far, and it is not healthy to dwell on the negative nor to glorify the postiives profusely. I stumbled on to some interesting and inspiring words today, from two sources and I was inspired, found myself kind of sighing and saying to myself, "Yeah. That's right on. I can identify with that." So, first up, a dear friend shared from Oswald Chambers' devotional today and I was stopped in my tracks by it. It identifies so well with my current state and how I need to adjust my perspective.

'Sometimes God puts us through the experience and discipline of darkness to teach us to hear and obey Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and God puts us into “the shadow of His hand” until we learn to hear Him (Isaiah 49:2). “Whatever I tell you in the dark. . .”— pay attention when God puts you into darkness, and keep your mouth closed while you are there. Are you in the dark right now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? If so, then remain quiet. If you open your mouth in the dark, you will speak while in the wrong mood— darkness is the time to listen.

When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else once you are back in the light.

After every time of darkness, we should experience a mixture of delight and humiliation. If there is only delight, I question whether we have really heard God at all. We should experience delight for having heard God speak, but mostly humiliation for having taken so long to hear Him! Then we will exclaim, “How slow I have been to listen and understand what God has been telling me!” And yet God has been saying it for days and even weeks. But once you hear Him, He gives you the gift of humiliation, which brings a softness of heart— a gift that will always cause you to listen to God now.'
(Oswald Chambers, The Discipline of Hearing, February 14, 2012, http://utmost.org/the-discipline-of-hearing/)

Second, a really bountiful article on oprah.com about the importance of taking a rest on purpose.

'...I have to admit that I simply need to rest. I need to listen to my body when it tries to call a halt, and above all I need to remember that I am not so important in the scheme of things that I can't give up control (or the illusion of control) long enough to take time out. It's hard for me not to feel guilty when my energy isn't up to the tasks at hand. But I've found it is surprisingly easy to alter my plans, to reschedule a meeting, even—and here I do battle with my most basic instincts—to put off until tomorrow something I could do today. Today I would do it badly. Tomorrow, God willing, I'll be more rested and alert, and I'll be able to do it right.

I now understand that the old monk's wisdom was grounded in that of the Psalms he'd recited every day for more than 60 years. The Psalms remind us that whether we are full of energy or drained of it, we are in God's presence. Several Psalms imply that it's when we are asleep, and not so full of ourselves and the noise of our lives, that we are best able to hear God speak to us. In Psalm 16 we read, "I will bless you, Lord. You give me counsel, and even at night direct my heart." When I can truly accept being drained of energy, I see it not as an opportunity, because that implies too much control on my part, but as an opening. It's as if a window has opened, or a door, inviting me to listen. It is liminal (literally, "threshold") time, the fertile ground between waking and sleeping, between doing and being. It is when I am half awake, before my list-making brain takes over and pretends it's in charge, that my best ideas come. But on my off days, when I am stripped of energy and feel too stupid even to think, all I can do is pray

The author, Kathleen Norris, finished the article by quoting a prayer from the Common Book of Prayer that I have latched on to and will be posting on my bathroom mirror. Amazing, fresh air truth that I needed today.

"This is another day, O Lord.... If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly."

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Kathleen-Norris-Fatigue-Stress-and-Learning-to-Rest/2#ixzz2KouWXE72

I am thankful for the inspiration of these two amazing sources today and I am inspired to settle more deeply into this time of rest and restoration in my life. I hope it does the same for you.

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