Sunday, May 6, 2012

I just had the BEST weekend ever!  (Picture me screaming at the top of my lungs, with my arms lifted to the sky, and my face pointed upwards)  I guess you could call it an early Mother’s Day present…  For the first time in a really long time, I had the whole weekend to myself and it was wonderful!  So what did I do?  Oh, please, let me tell you – I’m still giddy!  J

Originally, I wanted to lock myself up in a hotel or cabin and not see or talk to anyone for three full days, but my husband wasn’t as keen on the idea as I was.  So instead, I hooked up with a college friend on Friday for pedicures.  After our pedi’s, we ran over to the mall and stopped for some coffee.  Our time was, of course, spent catching up, reminiscing and talking about life.  Unfortunately, we eventually had to say good-bye, but it didn’t happen without figuring out the next time we could get together.  I returned home a little later that night and had some time with my husband. 

On Saturday, I had the luxury of sleeping in until 9:30 a.m.!  For those of you with little kids, you know sleeping in is like getting a piece of Heaven delivered to your house.  It was amazing!!!  I actually had to drag myself out of bed even at that time.  I knew I was exhausted, but I had no idea I was that tired!  After having a lazy breakfast, I spent the next few hours laying around in my pajamas and doing a whole lot of nothing.  Finally around 2:00 in the afternoon, I hopped in the shower to get ready for my next date.  Later in the afternoon, I met up with a H.S. friend and her baby.  Our time was just as treasured as my time with my college friend the day before!  The three hours we spent together flew by and before we knew it, it was time to head home.  Just as I did with my college friend, we didn’t leave until we had our next date set.   That night, my husband and I were able to hang out and talk about life, which made for a perfect end to a nearly perfect day.

Today, then, I woke up just in time to hop in the shower and head to church.  My time at church was much less hectic than normal and I could take in every word and savor the last few hours of my rejuvenating weekend.  Ahhhhhhhhhh….  I feel so refreshed!

Now, don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my kids dearly and I did miss them!  But, having a little time to myself was exactly what I needed.  Prior to my weekend, I was feeling absolutely drained and getting some rest was high on my list of things to do.  It was interesting, because during my adult Sunday school class, we talked about the need for rest.  How timely!    

Jesus set a perfect example many times of how we should take time to rest.

Mark 1:9-13

9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted[a] by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

Before Jesus began his three year ministry, he went away for forty days.  During this time, the angels attended or ministered to him.  He took time away from other people to pray, to hear the Word before working.  Granted, Satan tempted Him during this time, but isn’t that the way it works?  Whenever we want to set aside time with the Lord and to rest, the devil almost always tries to ruin it or to tempt us.  Usually when Satan shows up, it's because we're doing something God wants us to do or God is about to use us to further His kingdom.   Even though we may face some obstacles, we can't let Satan deter us from getting rest and time away. 

Mark 1:35-39

35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

Mark 6:45-46

45 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.

Mark 6:30-32

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.

If Jesus, God the Son, took time to regularly get away to spend time with the Father and rest, who do we think we are when we never get our rest and neglect our relationship with Him?  So many times we run ourselves ragged until we crash.  If we’re so busy that we don’t even have time to spend time in the Word and to rest, then we need to seriously reconsider our commitments and what we’re filling our time with.  What does your schedule look like? 

At the end of our Sunday school class, we were encouraged to pencil in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly time to rest and spend time with the Lord.  I plan to look at my schedule first thing in the morning and make a commitment to pencil in time with the Lord a regular habit.  I already have lots of ideas for ways I can take time to have more extended rest periods, similar to what I did this weekend, in my schedule.  How about you?  Do you want to take this challenge with me?  Let’s not procrastinate any longer -  follow Jesus' example today! 
It's time for me to get some sleep – good night!  ;)

Key Thought from our Sunday School class:  God created us, saved us, set us apart, and connected us to the Vine (see John 15:1-8) so that we could be productive.  But in order to be productive, we must first spend time in rest.  In other words, God designed us to work from our rest, not rest from our work.  

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