My thoughts

Watering Hole: 3 Ways we Fear and Miss the REST that God has Created for us

thanksgivingdinner

The Watering Hole is a virtual stopping space in the midst of our crazy, hectic, and wildly beautiful week to week lives, to breathe deep and take a drink at the well of the Lord.

Here’s today’s drink:

John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

The last part of this sentence is a real kick in the teeth, especially to those of us that are type A personality go-getters, who have been trained by parents, work, or life in general to be high functioning independent doers. You know the types, those people who seem to get more done in less time than anyone else. They are always on the go. Always ready to fly into task mode. When they finally figure out that they don’t have to do it all on their own and have learned to ask for help. They can mobilize a whole army of helpers who are just as good at getting it done as they are. Yeah, I am one of those people! Rest does not come easy.

I remember a time in my life where whenever I was alone I had this incredibly uncomfortable feeling rise in me. It was as if I was going to go crazy if I didn’t have someone to talk to, have something to do, or somewhere to go. Have you been there? I am reminded almost daily of this mindset through my son. He has asked me nearly daily since he could talk, “what are we going to do, where are we going to go or who are we going to see today?” It is taxing to my soul to have a mini-outside taskmaster. I am certain that I drive myself nuts. I have learned to like my own company, but that doesn’t mean that the need to do something has stopped nagging me. The to-do list is everlasting. todo

 Pastor Lynn talked about how we live in a world that is inundated with a slave mentality. This mentality to highly rooted in identity. Do we know who we are? Do we know to whom we belong? If our identity comes from what we can produce and how we perform then our whole existence is based on our usefulness in this world system. That is not how God sees us. To the Lord, we are His chosen people in whom He delights and to those, He loves He has created for them this day of rest. I found an acronym that I think fits well for REST: Rapid Emergency Shelter Taskforce. We need a place to run too when the world is swallowing up our lives. We are dying. Our lives surround having to work, pay bills, and get ahead. This is not what we were made for. Rest is so important that God commanded us to work only 6 days then enter His provision for our lives! We need this shelter from the storms of life on a weekly basis. Not just the once a year vacation. God gave us 52 days a year. That is 7 weeks a year combined. Sabbath is so important that when the Israelites didn’t keep the Sabbath rest for the land and just kept working the ground. God sent them into Babylon. It was then that the land had rest. They were afraid that if they stopped they would starve. Are we the same way? Do we fear that if we stop going, doing, working, that we will starve? Starve emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually. Gods’ kingdom doesn’t work that way. We starve when we don’t stop. 

 

Question of the day: Do you know what fears are keeping you from stopping

The honeyvine is a beautiful plant that smells amazing. When it first showed up in our garden I thought it was such a cute little vine. It climbed along the fence line creating this wonderful sweet-smelling barrier. It seemed harmless. We let it grow. That turned out to be a terrible idea. Fear is like a honey vine.  Eventually, it grows these pods that were hard to see under the amount of lush foliage it grew. These pods are filled with flying seed like the milkweed plant. By the next summer, we had thousands of vines growing. Honeyvine is one of the most aggressive and invasive vines that once the plant has bloomed and produced seeds, your property will forever have this vine. It bent our little peach tree over with the strength of its tendrils choking the life out of it as it took over the garden.  That is exactly what fear does to our hearts. It bends and chokes the life out of us.

honeyvine

 3 ways we fear and miss the REST that God has created for us:

  1. Fear of what others will think: How many times have I keep working at something because I was afraid in one way or another of what someone would think? Or worse yet, what I would think of myself if I didn’t? I have worked right through weekends missing moments with my kids and my spouse. I have robbed myself of the delight the Lord has given to me in the gift of rest. We must learn to stop and leave it undone. It will be there when you get back. At work, I built a team to help get things done. At home, I have learned that I don’t have to live a perfect “looking” life. Fear makes us create a “window shopped life” instead of a “lived in, full, and  in the moment life!”
  2. Fear that if I don’t do it – it won’t get done: I couldn’t keep working myself to the bone. I am not the only person on the planet that can get something done. I am not indispensable. I used to think I had to be the one to do it. I learned to say no, and I learned to delegate. And guess what I found? I found that as I trust the gift of God in other people, I end up empowering them to do what they do best.  Not just that but they do things far better than I ever did. This past couple of years I have learned a valuable lesson. It is ridiculous for me to do what would take me 4 hours when God has given me a wonderful team of people that I could ask to help, who are gifted to do it and in under 20 mins. Fear makes us work harder, not smarter!
  3. Fear that I won’t succeed if I sit still: There is always going to be something else to do. We think that if we don’t hustle, don’t keep grinding then we won’t succeed. The truth is we won’t succeed as God has intended for us to if we don’t learn to be still. In this gift of rest that God has given me, He does something my effort can’t do. It is a supernatural grace that comes as I learn to trust and lean on Him. He retools me in the quiet. He empowers me in the stillness. In that place of rest, He becomes the MORE of my life. He is the rest. He is the peace. Fear makes us believe that we must be “on” all the time to get ahead when less really is more!

Fear is a tendril that wraps around our souls to choke the God-life out of us and keep us enslaved to this world’s rat race. It’s time to cut the tendrils and learn to see what God created us for. We have been manipulated and distracted from what God has created us for, for long enough. We are not tools to be used. We are those in whom He delights. He wants us to learn to see, hear, feel and experience delight in our everyday lives. He wants us to learn how to downshift and enjoy the moments and the people He created to do life with us. For this reason, I am creating #joyoutloud so we can begin to capture these moments. See below how to jump in.

Thanks for listening,

Starla

Post on your social media of choice this photo and/or hashtag #joyoutloud. Add as many moments as you notice of delight. I will add mine here for an example as well as post them on my social media. it's your day!

 

#joyoutloud

1. The warmth of the sun on my face on a cold day.

2. The sound of dear daughter singing in her sleep.

3. The way almond wrapped in chocolate is so incredible.

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