Resting in Christ

Taking Time to Rest — Guest Post

Image of a Christmas setting
Image by Simon Z on Unsplash

During the holidays, it’s easy to run from one activity, party, and obligation to the next, completely depleting ourselves in the process. If we’re not careful, we can turn what God intended to be a restful, celebratory, sacred time into one wrought with stress. I’ve found when I feel I have the least time to rest and reflect, that’s when I need to most. As you read our guest blogger’s post below, consider how God might be calling you do come away, even if for a few moments, to rest in His embrace.

Even God Rested

By Meredith Kendall

Over a year ago we were commissioned to plant a new church in a new area. This involved moving to a state hundreds of miles from our home. We’ve worked tirelessly.

I didn’t realize how fatigued I was until my husband and I actually took a full day off.

On this particular sunny day, we headed to the beach to walk a mile, our reward was a “sinful cinnamon roll” from a restaurant I’d only seen pictures of called the Heavenly Biscuit. After devouring the entire thing, we started our trek back to the car to finish our adventure.

I made sure my husband knew how thankful I was for our time. We finished our escapade driving around a nature preserve. He even put up with me taking lots of pictures. Unfortunately no alligators or iguanas, but plenty of birds. Brown Pelicans, White Pelicans, Egrets, and Herons. My soul was being refreshed with every step and camera click.

As a pastor’s wife, it’s extremely difficult to take a traditional day of rest because on Sunday I’m usually running from the time my feet hit the ground at 5:30am to 2:00pm. Every week we have to transpose a high school into a place of worship. We’ve attempted to take two half days, but after my beach and nature preserve experience, I truly understand this verse in Genesis 2.

On the seventh day, He rested from ALL His work.

The Greek word translated as rested is shabath and is also where we get our word Sabbath. It means to repose. To cease. To put away. To rest.

I love the word repose. This is not only the act of resting or the state of being at rest. It’s a state of mind, suggesting freedom from worry.

Not once while I “shabathed”, did I worry about all the work I had accumulating at home or even what the next twenty-four hours would bring. I stayed in a reposed state all day, probably for the first time in, well, ever. I came to realize that even though I take a day off from work, that is not what God did that day. He reposed. He wasn’t worried about what needed to be done next, or what might fall apart.

We can do the same, knowing the God of Creation will take care of all that concerns us. Our world won’t fall apart if we relax, surrender it to Christ, and follow the example God set for us in Genesis.

Get to Know Meredith!

As a nationally recognized sales leader, Meredith Kendall learned how to build bridges and make connections with the heart of what people need. Now she is known as a change agent, driven by her God-given passion to equip struggling families to achieve their unique God-given potential.

Meredith’s works can be found at: My GiGi’s House: Finding HopeThe 180 Program and her podcast can be found here. Finding Your Purpose

Resources you might find helpful:

Wholly Loved’s Christmas Bible Reading Plan, Preparing Our Hearts for the Holidays. Find it HERE.

Wholly Loved’s holiday devotion, Intentional Holidays. Find it HERE.

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Freedom From the Ink-Stained Life

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Picture a white sheet of paper, alive with the promise of a great story only to have a well of ink splatter and spread all over its page.  What starts as a small blob, seeps through fiber by fiber, expanding to whatever it touches. This was how my life, prior to Jesus, felt to me.  What started out as insecurities and naivety turned into unhealthy relationships, self loathing, and destructive living.

I’ve watched my kids draw countless pictures, make a mistake, then ball the page up and toss throw it away. This is where I felt my worth had landed. It resided deep inside, haunting me, telling me this ruined piece of paper would never amount to much.

Trying to live free from the shame on my own didn’t help. That was like trying to flatten a crumpled paper into its once flawless state.

What does work? Jesus. He took my mistakes, my failures, my regrets and paid for them with His death on the cross. When we choose to follow Jesus, God never holds our past against us nor keeps lists of our wrongs, because as far as He’s concerned we’re made new.God never holds our past against us nor keeps lists of our wrongs because as far as He’s concerned we’re made new. Click To Tweet

But like my kids with their drawings, I will still mess up. I’ll lose my temper with my family and friends. I won’t always use my time effectively, and I’ll act selfishly. It’s hard not to get down on myself daily, or have a recurring feeling of failure. However, I forget that being a follower of Jesus doesn’t exempt me from being human. I may still have sinful behavioral patterns, but my Father gives me an unending supply of His mercy that grants me the ability to start new every day.

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It seems too good to be true, but it isn’t. When we are in Christ, we are a fresh piece of white paper, pulled straight from the ream, ready for a new story, a new destiny, authored and empowered by the One who is calling you live fully in His grace.

What will your story be? Grab hold of His promise that, in Christ, you are made new every day, seen through the lens of who He designed you to be. Take out your pen and let Him lead the way.

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If you haven’t asked God for forgiveness of your sins yet and haven’t experienced the life changing power of being made new in Him, we would love to talk with you! Leave a comment or send us your info through our contact page.

 

Resting in Christ

Resting in God’s Grace is Sufficient for Me

What does it mean to rest in God’s grace? Does that sound theological and religious to anyone else?

Consider 2 Corinthians 12. Paul asked Jesus to remove a thorn in his side, something Scripture doesn’t reveal but that made Paul feel weak. Jesus response: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul concludes, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (v.9)

Said a different way: Jesus’ undeserved favor is complete and adequate enough for me. His authority over all shines faultlessly in our flaws and feebleness. His unmatched control over the entire universe adjoins with my lowly self and supplies a lifeline to cling to, a safety net to relax in. Because of my weakness, God can vividly display His divine power.

After Paul heard from the Lord, he decided that his inadequacy was worth it. When he truly surrendered, God could shine brightly through him— which wouldn’t be seen when he relied on himself.

But what does “resting in God’s grace” mean for me? Was I doing a good job at letting Jesus take over when I was weak, allowing His power to fix and heal and love?

I contemplated this as I finally got around to something I’d dreaded for weeks—dealing with my son’s behavior and inability to focus at school. I began researching doctors in our network. I called with questions, made appointments, and emailed my son’s former teacher for more information. All in an attempt to get the ball rolling towards a possible diagnosis.

And I’ll be honest, even looking up doctors who might help my son broke my heart. I felt weak, unknowledgeable, inadequate, and scared. The idea of getting him help should bring me hope, yet, I kept thinking, does this mean something’s wrong with him? Surely not, because God made him exactly the way He wanted him to be…

Jesus’ words came back to me. My grace is sufficient for you. Jesus’ favor, or blessing, for me is undeserved and enough to get me through anything. And more, when I am weak, His power rests on me. To “rest on” means to lean on, adjoin to, combine as one. So, if Christ’s power rests on me, then His power is now on me. KristenQuoteGrace I can be sure that God will help me figure out the best steps to take as a mother, knowing God loves my son even more than I do and will hold on to him tightly. I can relax because if God can take my weakness and use it for His glory and power, then He can also do the same for my son’s weakness. He can turn what is hard for him and make it shine somehow.

I will hold on to this verse as we navigate what’s challenging.

What trial or limitation do you need to surrender to Jesus? Claim His power in your weakness and walk forward knowing He’s resting His grace and mercy on you.

 

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Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION(R), NIV(R) Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. (R) Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.