I always thought it was just a schedule and demand issue, or my season of life. But one of my mentors says that Hurry, Restlessness, and Sleeplessness are indicators of an uneasy Soul. These are symptoms of what are decidedly NOT the Jesus Way, truth, or Life. It takes faith, and trust, to be unhurried, to rest adequately. Sleeplessness is a soul problem, he says. So is anxiety. Gulp. I have chronically recurring soul-sickness.
The prescription for my dis-ease is REST.
I know, I know…..we had four kids in 9 years. So I know how improbable that might seem. If it’s not one of them instigating hi-jinks it’s another one. That is if they’re all healthy at once and you do not have to do one more load of vomit laundry or diarrhea diapers. And, if you’re not frantically looking for someone’s baseball cleats, or the homework sheet which you put on the refrigerator with the alphabet magnets after an agonizing hour and a half and 1/2 the bag of M & M’s as incentive to get through it. Or if it’s not kids, it’s the one-more-thing-before-I-sit-down that is really five more things, two of which become problematic, and two others have a deadline.
But Rest can happen if you arrange for it. You might have to un-plug, power down, tune out, set aside, and turn off a few things. Get the kids settled for the day (or the night), get quiet. That’s not even the hard part.
For me schedule shifting is easy compared to arranging my frenzied mind. The Psalms are a good remedy for me. Like a long soak in a therapeutic bath, I immerse myself in Psalm 23.
Here’s how that went for me, recently, taking a couple of verses a day:
• The Lord is my Shepherd, my guide, and my guard; He’s in charge of me. He’s the project manager that arranges the materials, the time, and the process.
• I shall not want, I have everything I need for life and godliness by his power, glory and goodness. I lack nothing, so I’m not anxious.
• He makes me lie down in green pastures; I’m lying down because I’m full from feasting on his goodness; I’m at rest, content. Like the baby who’s just finished off the last feeding for the night ready to be carried to the crib. Or the kitten who’s curled up in a ball and purring with contentment.
• He leads me beside still waters, No rapids or white water here, these are pools that are deep and refreshing, where I am safe in his Care and can drink in all that I want.
• He restores my soul; I do not restore my own soul—and it is dangerous for me to try for I might do damage to myself and to those around me. So I trust Him to know what to do, and when to do it. Because he is more than capable and qualified.
• He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake—. An expert guide; if I get out ahead of Him, I’m likely to take a wrong turn. He knows the right paths, and the right pace for my transformation.
• Though I walk through a Valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. Even when he guides me through darkness, and shadows that feel like death, I know that I am secure with Him. He’s in charge of the outcome. So I’m not afraid of evil; I’m not surprised by it, but I don’t look for it and I don’t anxiously plan for it.
• His rod and staff comfort me. He has all the Power tools, so with Jesus I can face what comes. He’ll walk me right through it.
• He sets a table for me in the presence of my enemies. In fact, it’s a bountiful Table before me, in the presence of those who oppose him and don’t much like me, and my stomach doesn’t even knot up or feel sick. I can sit easy with him at that Table. And what he puts in front of me, it’s all good. And plenty.
• He anoints my head with oil – he treats me like I’m his special guest; A VIP.
• My cup runs over – he just keeps pouring out steadfast love and grace. and I’m nearly goofy with gratitude, I can’t help grinning.
• Surely, goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. Goodness and Mercy are constant companions as I keep company with HIm; they follow me around like pets, all day and all night, and week after month after year.
• And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord, forever. I can live from here. I am ” at home” with Him. And I’m doing with Him whatever He’s doing, coming and going like family, because I am his sheep and He is my Shepherd.
May you relax this summer and rest in the presence of the One who is never overwhelmed by your day.
How do you keep good company with Jesus, goodness and mercy?