Derek @ 4 Months: Too Busy to Rest
My Derek is four months old. For the first part of his life he was the most calm and content baby who loved to sleep. Then all of a sudden everything changed. He is now a ball of energy wanting to go, do, grown, achieve, and never stop. Unfortunately, the only thing that hasn’t changed is his need for large amounts of rest. Therefore, naps have turned into a battle. I can imagine his thoughts as he struggles to give in. “Mommy, I want to roll over, not take a nap”, “Please let me stay up a little longer, I just found my feet”, “If I sleep I might miss something”, or maybe he is simply saying“ NO NO NO NO NO”. If he only knew a good night of sleep or a well-timed nap would allow him to be happier, more content, and energized to meet another milestone. As I watch my son struggle with over exerting himself, I realize I too am guilty of the very same thing to my spirit. John 15:4-5 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
I was recently involved in a conversation discussing whether we should rest from our work or work from our rest. At first I was unsure how to respond, but scripture shows us that we need to work from our rest. A branch cannot grow and bear fruit if it is not first part of the tree. We cannot effectively be the hands and feet of Christ, serving and loving others, if we do not first belong to the body of Christ. Sometimes I find myself so consumed by life that I lose sight of who I am living for. Anyone can complete a random act of kindness, anyone can speak a soft word, anyone can show love to those in their life, but only a disciple of Jesus can point others to Him while they do it. Without the Holy Spirit working deep inside of me, I am just another dime a dozen humanitarian.
Matthew 22:37-39 “And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' "This is the great and foremost commandment. "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’”
How can we show the love of our Heavenly Father to our neighbor if we have not experienced it ourselves? When life gets busy, the night comes quicker, the days seem shorter, and the to do list gets longer. I need to work on carving out more quiet personal time to spend with God each day. Somehow I find time to spend with Derek, my husband, and even a little for myself (usually at 5 minute shower), but I do it, so I must be even more diligent to do the save for my Savior. When a few days go by and I have not dove deep into the word, or poured my heart out in prayer I can feel a difference. My connection with God is not as strong, my peace withers, my shoulders carry a heavier burden, my tongue becomes sharper, my temper shorter, and feel like I turn into a four month old without a nap, “a fuss pot”. How can I minister to others from an arid spiritual environment like that? I can’t. That is why I must first love God enough to spend time with him before I love my neighbor; therefore, embodying Christ before I can share Him.
John 4:14 “whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."
Prayer, nature, daily devotion, Christian music, uplifting conversation, small groups, a quiet walk, or even swinging on the porch while holding my son renew my spirit. When I take the time to spend moments with God, talking about God, and listening to God I can feel his presence pour into me. When my soul is well fed, only then do I possess the ability to reach out to others. Psalm 23:5-6 “…You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” When I take time to rest in the presence of the Lord, his goodness and light go before me throughout each day. Only his rejuvenation can prepare me for the tasks that lay ahead.