Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rest!

Rest is more than sleeping or relaxing. Rest is simply a place of being content and at peace (no matter what my situation). This photo of Amelia and I running the Warrior Dash together is just one of many examples of what I can call rest. We just finished our "race" and I was tired, muddy, and leaving with a rib injury, but I was resting! Resting in the fact that it was great to spend her 16th birthday doing this together. Great that we got to get away just the three of us (my wife, her, and I). It was a filled weekend, scheduled, but I was at rest.


I could also try and draw some pictures mentally for other times when I was at rest. Some in tears alone in a corner praying, some on my couch with a book, or some mowing the lawn outside. Either case, I don't associate busy or saddness with not being at rest.

However I got a bit away from that in my life ...

So while I don't follow some of the traditional calendars or timing that accompany what some Christian denominations call Lent, I am preparing to enter a period of fasting that I look forward to each year as we draw closer to Easter. Usually I don't discuss what I am fasting from, as that is between God and I (and perhaps a few friends that I feel guided to help and share with), but I will share the focus. And this year my focus will be on finding that "Rest" again; daily.
  • During a very busy time at work, I will seek Him and His rest.
  • Being a father of 4, with a toddler and the others in three different schools, I will seek Him and His rest.
  • Wanting to take time and hone my music skills as I continue to give this gift back to him, I will seek Him and His rest.
  • Wanting to make sure I stay on top of my health and fitness goals, I will seek Him and His rest.
  • During a time of changing some things financially, and the work that it takes, I will seek Him and His rest.
  • Resting in Him as I continue to try and be the husband I am called to be to my amazing, loving, and supportive wife ...
Rest

This is nothing strange to me, as during some of my more difficult times in life, I have been graced with His presence, peace, and rest. Trials or not, He is still God, and He still provides. However in the last several months I have gotten a bit off track and began to try and take control again; something that provides something far from rest.

Reading this passage last night, it actually brought a couple tears to my eyes ...
And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures? (Luke 24:31-32 ESV) 
Why tears? Because it reminded me of how many times I am in the presence of Christ and fail to see Him because I'm so focused on my own thoughts and agenda. There are few things more painful to me than missed opportunities to share Christ, and missed opportunities to experience Christ are much the same. They are missed opportunities to rest in Him.

May this beautiful period of fasting, prayer, and reflection be fruitful for you as well!

Even if your denomination doesn't speak much of fasting, it is indeed a beautiful thing. Perhaps you don't even know this Jesus I'm speaking of beyond empty words on a page ... there is a beautiful introduction waiting to happen! I pray all of our eyes will be opened this coming season.

Resting,
~Matthew

2 comments:

Donna Schultz said...

Beautiful words once again, my friend. This reminded me of Jacob's dream at Bethel, when he said, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it." Oh, that we would be more aware of His presence all around us at all times. Armed with that truth, that the God of the Universe is with us, we need fear nothing and can truly enter that rest. Praying for peace and rest for you during your fast.

Michelle Mackintosh said...

I love this Matt :) God bless you as you enter into His beautiful rest.

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