I sometimes struggle to know what to write in my blogs. I often have a busy head which has to try hard to discern what the Father wants for me to know in my heart. I could fight the busyness in my head, but my truth is that I often find that it’s the allowing of the busyness to bounce around my head which then allows me to sift out what important for me at this time, and what is not. What I do know is that when I first started blogging my desire was to simply be an encourager to others walking in this space we recognise as out “not yet home place,” to perhaps take a thought which I’ve written about and using it as a prompting, to stop afresh to “consider Him.” (Hebrews 12:3) That hasn’t changed and so right at the start of this blog, I pray that whatever you may be doing this day, whatever state your heart may be in, broken, sad, lonely, overjoyed, contented, you do indeed stop this day and, giving thanks, you “consider Him.”
So over the past weekend, I attended a women’s conference with the theme of “Finding Rest.” I don’t intend to rewrite out all my notes here, (I’m a real doodler and writer of notes as I listen.) However a few days on, out of the lots of good stuff shared, I’d like to pass on a few of the things which I was personally both challenged and encouraged by, much of which can be summed up with this sentence…
“My resting isn’t compliant on me finishing a “to do” list but rather acknowledging what God has “already done.”
So here we go….
1) A summarised challenge: “Is my choosing to rest done for my sake, so that I will “feel” better, or do I have my quiet times so that I will more fully know that He is Lord of all my days, including this day, this season?”
2) Another challenge: That any witnessing for Him ought to be done out of a place of our own resting in Him and His grace. This speaker went on to remind us of how the world is a busy, restless place of constantly striving to obtain that “one more thing” in order to be content, while the truth is that our contentment can only ever come from our resting in Him. She further challenged us with the idea that how and what we do to switch off, ought often be different to what the world does, with the reminder that “restlessness” is a favourite tool used by Satan to distract Gods people from living as we ought.
3) A question presented: “Do I allow something, some problem which is taking up a lot of my time and energy, something which is constantly on my radar, to block out the bigger picture and truth of who God is?”
4) I liked this practical idea given for busy mums, or indeed any of us, who maybe struggle to find spaces within the day to pray, to do so as you are IRONING!! Ironing your hubbie’s shirts? Pray for him in his workplace. Ironing your mums washing? Give thanks for all the years she served her family. You get the picture…
5) During one session, entitled “When circumstances force us to rest,” this advice, again summarised, was shared by a young lady, who now spends her days in a wheelchair. “When you come to see me please don’t see my disability and then presume that what I want most is healing. While healing would be nice, the reality is we are all frail and we will all die, but at that very moment what I might want most might be, not for you to pray at all, but to ask me how I am and then to listen to me, I mean really listen without having your answers already lined up.”
6) And I did like this statement shared…
“To have childlike faith is to see ourselves as God sees us, children dependent on a loving Father to provide for all our needs”
And so we pray…
“Father, in your word we often see that Jesus in needing to be refreshed, took time out to spend time with His Father in quietness and prayer. However, we too often get it all topsy-turvy as we say to ourselves, “I’ll just finish what I’m doing and then I get a quiet time with you? Forgive us. Forgive us when we forget that any attitude of rest needs to come from what you’ve “already done,” and not on what we “do.” Help us Lord to witness for you out of a place of utter resting and trusting in you, especially when we may not understand our circumstances. Help us to know that childlike faith which allows us to see ourselves as you see us. Help us, though we admit it’s not always easy to do, in times of stress or anxiety, to try to have eternity perspectives. Help us also to see folk for who they are, and to not allow their physical circumstances, homeless, refugee, elderly, wheelchair-bound, colour our identity of them as your children. Help us also to be ready, to choose, not only to “give” but to “receive” as well. And Lord please help us, help me to listen, just listen, with my whole heart. To be present, really present, without feeling I need to “fix” or always have answers. Thank you Lord. Amen.”
Yours in Him,