I guess for many people rest seems to be something easy to do… there’s enjoyment in just sitting… for me, it’s a struggle! Prior to the start of my sabbatical I had had Psalm 23 spoken over me by several people, particularly the first part
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honour to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honour me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
Well, things haven’t turned out as expected so far on sabbatical. Our anticipated start in France hasn’t happened, as our reason for being there – the opening of a new church premises with Geoff & Annette Cawston in Avrille – through whom we experienced our call to ministry – has had to be delayed till September. I think this has hit me harder than I realised – Proverbs 13:12Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
Our plans to walk the Bunyan trail have been delayed due to illness – Julie now into her second week dealing with s&d… and I joined her yesterday… whilst at the Excel centre for the Christian Resources Exhibition… thank God, in response to prayer and practical help from a First Aider at the Excel centre, I managed the drive home without accident of any form!!
At the start, on the idea of ‘rest’ and knowing my inclination to get on and do, I had determined that I wouldn’t do more than one ‘job’ around home each day, that I’d make sure that I’d have at least part of each day to read and pray, beyond my normal time with God each morning. That’s happened mostly, and has been very precious times. Sometimes, it’s been sitting in the garden having a tea or coffee and watching the birds – I have had to learn that it’s okay to just be still and not do. I’ve managed to get down to the river too and just sit there – so fortunate to live with such beauty just a couple of minutes walk from our house!
The result of my determination on this has been good, but with added family responsibilities as a result of the illness circulating, it means there are a number of things that haven’t got done that should have been done… and so enforced rest has been the order of the day! Having survived to get home last night, it was collapse straight into bed by 7.30pm and sleep off and on right through the night till after 7 this morning. Fortunately I’m feeling somewhat better, but after seeing to the birds was able to go back to bed and just… rest…. today has been about rest… reading blogs…. watching TV… but couldn’t resist finally getting around to this….
To rest, or not to rest… that is the question