“Take the keys and go,” my husband said.
It wasn’t a question. From the time he’d walked in the door my tone had been short and snippy. He knew I’d had a long day and needed time to myself, even though I was insisting on cleaning up the dishes.
After stalling several times on my way out the door, I left. I played worship music in the car and talked to God about the things that were bothering me.
I didn’t take much time to listen. I didn’t pause to see whether he had an answer to my endless list of concerns and complaints.
But since our God is faithful and more patient than I deserve, he kept speaking.
One day in early February the weather was crazy warm. Spring warm. Our family went for a walk, and our five-year-old paused every five seconds to pick up rocks and sticks. He found his favorite bridge (a slat of wood) and hopped across, quite pleased with himself as he ran down the other side of the ravine.
Of course, I was trying to keep up the pace and burn some calories on the first nice day we’d had in weeks.
“Come on, Gabe! Bye, Gabe!”
“Wait for me!” he cried, running up from behind.
He was all dramatic but he knew we weren’t going to leave him. Within a few minutes, he was pausing again to explore.
I felt the cool breeze on my face and sensed that little nudge in my spirit.
You could learn from him, you know.
And it was true. I knew it. But was I willing to be taught?
They say knowledge is power, but is it really?
Knowledge may bring power, but wisdom comes when we’re willing to change.
For months I’d known what God wanted me to do: Rest. But I’d resisted. He wanted me to let someone else shoulder some of the load, but I wouldn’t open my mouth to ask for help.
I lived in a prison of my own self-sufficiency. Instead of receiving, I insisted on pouring out.
And pouring some more. But you can’t keep pouring from an empty cistern.
Even when I gave myself time to rest physically, I knew what I needed was spiritual. Soul nourishment. Time listening instead of talking. Time noticing his gifts instead of racing past them.
When we don’t see immediate fruit, we often think our time is wasted. But friends, time spent resting is not a waste.
Some of the most abundant fruit we produce will come after seasons of rest. Seasons when we’re willing to let someone else yield the harvest. When we’re willing to sit at the feet of Jesus instead of running ourselves ragged.
Fruit needs time to ripen before it is harvested. And the time God spends refining us is just as important as the time spent reaping the benefits.
If you feel called to a period of rest right now, do yourself a favor and take it. God will use it to teach you and mold you.
He may even show you some scenery you’ve been missing along the way.
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