It was my husband who spoke on this at church a few weeks ago, and it has been flitting in and out of my mind ever since. I would like it to rest in my heart. I need it to rest in my heart.
If it would rest in my heart, I know that that rest would spread out from my heart, to my mind and settle in my bones.
I headed to the doctor this week after a few really sharp, five second headaches, it turns out as far as she can tell they are tension headaches. As she said this to me I became conscious that I was clenching my teeth…again!
“Find some rest,” she said.
I just stared at the poster on the wall adjacent to me and nodded. I’ve heard this before… I’ve been told it a few times now. I’ve written about it before. I’ve tried it.
I’ve tried to stop worrying about things by trying really hard not to worry – I then worry that I’m not trying hard enough .. foolish, right? I can see it!
As I drove back to school after my visit to the doctor, a couple of things she said were ringing in my ears.
1. You aren’t 20 anymore !!! (Imagine that!)
2. You need to switch off sometimes – you need to find time to rest – or you will break.
“I don’t really have time to rest,” is usually the first thing that comes to my mind and then makes its way out of my mouth.
The doctor wasn’t buying that, “you have to. What do you do to relax?”
That’s the next question I struggle with.
“I don’t know.”
“You need to find out what it is and do it. Make the time to do it.”
At this point in the conversation I’m worried that my transparent face is screaming, are you kidding?! Do you have any idea how busy our life is. Every week that we have three children in our home we have to get them all to do the school work they should have done the week before, and the work that needs to be done this week, and hopefully get a start on the work for the week ahead to save ourselves some time this time in a fortnight. We are the household, that frowned this week on holidays mid-term because we are the household who has to catch up on the work a kid who’s already well behind has to do.
I think she can see it all racing through my mind and she repeats herself again and then adds to it.
“You aren’t twenty anymore. You can’t be skipping meals, you can’t be working and forgetting to eat, you need to rest, you need to find rest. Your body isn’t the same as it was when you were twenty or thirty .” (Ouch!! You don’t need to tell me that twice!!)
So yesterday we had a work, and worry, free day. It was great. We did some things that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.
We bought the trampoline I promised my son I’d get him about 6 years ago…
“See, I told you I’d get you a trampoline one day.”
“I knew you’d do it Mum! You keep your promises.”
There are a few pursuits I have that I find relaxing – music and art. I find it hard to make the time to do either without feeling guilty. (Something to work on.) Someone said to me this week you have to maintain all the rooms in the house. True, the artistic areas which are so much of an important part of me have been neglected in favour of the serious, more important pursuits. I’ve postponed the study for now. The time is not there.
So, I’ve been for sometime been thinking about getting a mandolin. Thinking it would be much easier to sit in a comfy chair and play a mandolin than it is to sit comfortably and play the piano. Mandolins also have the “portability” factor. I decided the guitar was off limits as we already have two very capable guitarists in the house and what family band needs three guitarists? 😉
So, anyway, yesterday we stopped thinking about the mandolin and made it happen. I didn’t quite play till my fingers bled but I do have a tiny blister to show for it.
We had a good day. We set the trampoline up, we all had a go, and two of us, very quickly became aware that we aren’t in our twenties anymore.(!)
The day was a really good one … but the truth is under it all I had a little sense of dread that things were about to get a bit tricky again.
Then this morning I was thinking about what my husband spoke about “he prepares a place for me in the presence of my enemies.”
The thoughts that he brought out have popped in and out of my head in the weeks since he spoke.
The image of being in a place where no enemy, despite their obvious presence, can disturb. It’s not that they are away from my place of blessing, as I often wish they would be. They are looking on, right there – in the spot where God’s preparing a table for ME! A table for me to sit at and enjoy the abundance of His provision. It doesn’t seem that He’s in any rush here. He seems unalarmed by the presence of my enemies – He’s actually going about the business of preparing me a feast, while they look on.
What a glorious thought… as I sat and thought about it … meditated on the idea of that … I felt the rest creeping in … the rest He desires for me to experience now when I’m in presence of the shepherd with my enemies looking on.
My teeth unclenched again …
I’m not twenty anymore and I’m very thankful for that!
I’m in a place of abundance now that I wasn’t in when I was in my twenties or my thirties.
So my friends, whatever is ahead of you this week, the One who’s preparing a table for you knows about it. And He’s just preparing that table for you.
He’s not worried, He’s not hurried, He’s just making sure that the feast’s ready for you.
He knows that they are there looking on.
He’s waiting for you to sit down and enjoy the abundance of the place and position He has brought you into.
There’s more to this verse here too my friend,
You anoint my head with oil …
begone negative thoughts.
You are in the presence of your shepherd,
He has anointed your head with oil, to heal you.
Can you and I find rest? Yes, we can.
What do you need to do in order to rest?
Stop and look around at what is in front of you,
and when you do that, you might just notice this …
my cup overflows.
P.S. Check out the many different translations of this verse (here) and find the rest and blessings you have, and need.