- A deep discontentment that settles in our bones and sours our soul.
- Relational tension – combative, distant, destructive.
- Illness. Mild and annoying. Dramatic and life-changing.
- Death. How many of us die years before our time?
There is a price tag.
I write this blog as one who was driven and reckless. I lived under the motto, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”(Philippians 4:13) True, when living the life God intended. But I chose my way over God’s way. My way was addictive in nature and rooted in a series of faulty beliefs.
At that stage, I questioned the the truth of Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” I believed that promise was reserved for Heaven, not a promise for the here and now. I came to God every day, multiple times every day, but there was no rest to be found. There was much to receive—love, forgiveness, joy, marching orders, but never rest. God’s rest eluded me because I came to Him on my terms, not His. I came sweating and heaving, with eyes on the next goal. No time for foot stools, green pastures or quiet waters. God’s pursuit of us is centered on our greatest need and through a series of difficult days and the Body of Christ, God placed me on a journey that would root out the beliefs that were leading to my demise and planted the seeds that would bring life, a life empowered by the rest of God.
Sabbath. Stillness. Solitude. Sleep. It’s been a 23 year adventure.
I was (am) a slow learner. Sabbath, Stillness (personal prayer focused on the Presence of God), and Solitude (personal retreat) were rhythms God began to weave into my life in a manner that re-sculpted my hardened heart. But sleep. Sleep was for sissies. Sleep robbed me. Sleep was a waste of precious, God-given time.
Embracing God’s plan for sleep was my last frontier. I began to take it seriously about 6 years ago. It proved to be an exceptional gift. Pesky ailments that had begun to plague me began to lessen and disappear. I felt like a new woman. But there is a price tag for our overload and exhaustion.
On September 12, half of my thyroid will be removed. I’ve been fighting an autoimmune thyroid condition for 12 years, a condition (for me) that is tied to a life-time of elevated cortisol levels, a result of my refusal to get the sleep my body required.
Am I beating myself up? No. This is life in a fallen world. There are natural consequences for the choices we make. Some times they are instant. Sometimes they are delayed. Maybe the scar across my neck will speak volumes to another in search of a better way.
The promise in Matthew 11 and Jeremiah 31:25 (ESV) is true and sure. “I will satisfy the weary soul and every languishing soul I will replenish.” For this to be ours, rhythms of rest and restoration must be explored, embraced and prioritized as gifts from the Father’s Hand.
Where are you at, at this juncture in your life? Exploring? Embracing? Prioritizing?
First time here?
Welcome! We’re a group that gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We’re finding it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”
- It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
- It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
- It’s adventure at its best – as we learn to run the race in a power not our own.