Over the last few years and especially since beginning the Radical Experiment earlier this year, I’ve tried to do more. I’ve tried to give more, to spend more time in bible study, and to be more involved with ministries at church. I’ve reached a point to where if I’m not volunteering every time we have something at church I feel guilty. For example, today was our annual Christmas store. I think this is such a wonderful thing our church does, and in years past I’ve worked in one of the rooms where the kids wait while their parents shop. I enjoy being with the kids. And while I gave toys this year, I didn’t give my time. I’ve wrestled with the decision not to work all week. It has, in fact, caused me great angst.
When I got up this morning after sleeping in, I still was feeling like I should have volunteered, and then I read the daily devotion by Charles Stanley. Praise the Lord for Dr. Stanley because the message he had for today eased my troubled soul. Here’s an excerpt
“I remember lying in a hospital bed years ago and coming to the realization that I was there because Jesus wasn't the Lord of my life. If anyone happened to be observing my life back then, it probably appeared that I was serving Him with every ounce of my being. I was overloaded with projects and plans for good Kingdom work. But that was actually the problem. When God told me to stop, slow down, or do something different than I had planned, I kept right on going. Flat on my back in the hospital, I finally remained still long enough for the Lord to remind me that only He could direct my path (Jer. 10:23).”*
Saturday is the only day I get to rest. And sometimes I really need the rest. I sleep poorly. It’s hard for me to go to sleep and when I finally do I’m usually awake about every two hours. This seems to run in the family and even sleeping aids don’t work like they should. As a result, I am physically tired most of the time simply from lack of sleep. Through the week I have to push myself to go because I do have to work. And most weeks I have at least one or two nights I’m at the church for a meeting or choir practice. But, on Saturday I can sleep until I’m ready to get up and it helps to catch up on some of the sleep I’ve missed all week.
After reading Dr. Stanley’s devotion, I decided God does expect us to rest. I think He’s pleased by what I do, and I also believe He doesn’t expect me to do everything that needs to be done. So, if you’re like me and you give it all you have to give, don’t feel guilty when you feel you really need to rest. God knows your heart and He knows your physical limitations.
*Dr. Charles Stanley, InTouch.org, 2011.