Every once in a while, God reminds us of our fragility and mortality. As I look back over my life, I see the close calls. Maybe you have a list as well.
- A helicopter crash in my early twenties.
- A month-long bout with a disease called “Toxic Shock Syndrome” in my mid-twenties.
- Getting hit near the temple with a golf ball, at full speed, in my early fifties.
And over the past few weeks, it was the upper respiratory infection that wouldn’t go away.
Two rounds of antibiotics and steroids didn’t kick it. It just got worse as I pushed through being half-sick. But then it took over, and pinned me to the mat. Over the weekend I had to cancel all activities that I was involved in. That included a church commitment, a women’s conference and a board retreat for a Christian media organization that I’m a part of. I hate not following through with my commitments.
But I was forced to rest.
Psalm 23:2–3 says the LORD “makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”
On Saturday I asked, “After three weeks of battling this nuisance, why can’t I turn the corner like I always do?”
I didn’t like the answer.
On Sunday, in my morning quiet time, I was in Deuteronomy 5 where Moses reiterates the Ten Commandments. Commandment #4 says,
“Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.”
I have a tendency to push and pack in more than I have time for. I had been convicted about honoring the Sabbath before and do take Sabbath rests more than I used to, but not every week. There is always a message to prepare for or the house to clean. Is this your story? What prevents you from keeping the Sabbath?
I strive to be obedient to God’s word. It is my goal and prayer, but for some reason, this particular command has always been difficult to keep. I feel the LORD is now showing what happens when I don’t activate proactive rest in my life. It’s the rest that refuels and recharges our bodies for the busy schedule ahead.
God’s not saying to stop all our activities. He is just asking us to cease from them for one day, and give that day to Him. Even our beautifully designed bodies are not made to go non-stop 24/7.
Through this experience I found that the LORD doesn’t care about all our commitments, even the ones that honor Him. He is more concerned with our obedience.
Today, I want you to learn from my bad example. Don’t challenge the LORD to force you to rest through sickness or an injury. Be proactive about rest, and watch how your health improves, as well as your energy level.
Still under the weather, Sunday night I woke up praying, “Lord, please heal me.” Then I heard in my spirit, “Your prayer request has been granted.”
Today, I am not 100% but I am almost there, and believe I made the turn Sunday night, when God answered my prayer. I think He knows I’ve finally learned the lesson about proactive rest and that I don’t take His healing for granted.
“If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors. The LORD will keep you free from every disease” (Deuteronomy 7:12, 15). (LBW)
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Categories: Devotion of the Week