Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Valid Need to Rest

Yesterday I woke up and immediately my mind was attacking me, "You've slept in too late." "There's so much to do." And then I felt the loving voice of my Father, comforting me and assuring, "Sleep is My gift and you need it to carry this baby." Then, today, I read this post by Ann Voscamp:

She opens one eye wide and peeks at me. “Did you know you close your eyes when you sleep, Mama? And you close your eyes when you pray. Sleep and prayer. They’re like the same…”Sleep… rest. And prayer. Like the same... Soul and body, they both need to close eyes, a body needing hard stops, a definitive time, to turn out the lights and sleep… like a soul needing hard stops, definitive times, to step back from the work and pray.I don’t raise my head from the bed. Why do I shun rest? For the same reasons I shun prayer?I don’t think I need it.Addicted to motion, this buzz of self-importance, I think I must keep going, keep producing, keep working, that I’m needed to make some indispensable product. But God made a body to require rest. We can toil till the joints pull apart and the smile cracks and flakes at the seams, but eventually we’ll drag into the quiet pastures, fall into pillow and sleep dead man’s slumber. He will bring us face to face with our own limitations, our own smallness. Do we too wait until the ledge of desperation before we pray, before we humbly embrace our need?A soul needs to rest and that is its real work.Prayer is the work. Prayer is the rest.Isn’t it sometimes the greatest work of all to still and rest, abandon self to the Arms that hold?I need it: rest, prayer… Him.

I need it. I need Him. Rest. " Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS." Matthew 11:28-29

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