Full-throttle, I hurry about the house. I need to do something – work on Bible-study, write, read, spend time with God, clean the house, do laundry, work in the yard, read, write, spend time with God…. I must do something. I need to fill every minute of time with something useful, don’t I?
Must be busy and stay busy, so very busy. When I’m not moving, I feel guilty. I want to be a good servant for the Lord. So, doesn’t that mean staying busy?
The words of Psalm 23 beckon, “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul….”
Stop for a moment, but then feel guilty stopping. On the Sabbath, I’ll rest. God commanded resting on the Sabbath. I can do that. No guilt there. But, during the week? I must stay active or feel like I’m wasting God’s time.
Again, scripture beckons… He makes me lie down…
I sit. But, then I start working while I sit. Argh! I realize this is a trust issue. Can I trust the Lord enough to not be busy?
The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul….
Green pastures are for rest and feeding. Still waters refresh and quench thirst. Both bring restoration. Busyness for the sake of staying busy causes tiredness and burnout. I realize, I’m busy with self-effort instead of relying on God’s leading and power. “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” ~ (Zechariah 4:6). Goodness, I need to stop trying everything in my own might and power. I am not mighty or powerful.
The Lord is my shepherd. I need to let The Shepherd lead, to lie down when He makes me lie down, to follow when (and where) He leads, and then I receive restoration.
God wants our hearts more than He wants our activity. I need to replace busyness with nearness to God. It’s God I want to please, and God I want to love above all else, and God is the one who restores my soul.
Before this could be published, my sweet hubby shared truth from Henry and Richard Blackaby’s devotional, Experiencing God Day by Day.
“There are those who feel that they must be constantly laboring for the Lord in order to meet God’s high standards. … In our zeal to produce ‘results’ for our Lord, we sometimes become so intent on fruit production that we neglect abiding in Christ. We may feel that ‘abiding’ is not as productive or that it takes too much time away from our fruit production. Yet Jesus said that it is not our activity that produces fruit, it is our relationship with Him.” ~ Henry and Richard Blackaby
I’m so sad. My busyness has kept me from the best. Time spent resting and abiding with the Lord is never wasted. The invitation to rest and abide grows relationship, restoration, and fruit production. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” ~ John 15:5 (NKJV)
Thank You, Father that You are my Shepherd. Forgive me for staying so busy. Forgive me for thinking my production is based on my own activity and my work. I can make lots of stuff, but my stuff is only hay and stubble and will be blown away by the winds of time. Lasting, sweet fruit comes from You. Help me to rest and drink deep of Your living waters as I abide in You.
The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. Happy sigh….
The Shepherd is calling. Will you abide and rest?
Henry and Richard Blackaby, Experiencing God Day by Day, B & H Publishing Group, Nashville, TN, p 120
Photos via Pixabay, public domain