Ironically, or not so much since I really don’t believe in irony, as I write this post on rest . . . my cup is the emptiest it’s been in a long time.
I’ve been bleeding out for others now for eight days straight and there hasn’t been much rest. After a weekend of intense emptying of self, I am a cactus in the desert, desperate for a cold drink to quench my thirsty soul.
And the chapters we’re discussing today?
They’re entitled “My Soul Needs to Exhale” and “It Isn’t All Bad.”
And it’s not all bad. But sometimes we do need to stop and breathe.
I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain this to you but it isn’t that I don’t enjoy serving others. I do. One of my missions, and I know it’s one of yours as well, is to love well. When we love well, we often sacrifice our own needs for the needs of others.
But there’s a difference between loving our neighbors well and refusing to listen to your own needs sometimes, too.
If your cup is empty, you’re not able to love your neighbor as well because we are supposed to serve from our overflow.
Which is really hard to do when there isn’t an overflow.
And when there isn’t an overflow, then it’s time to listen to your empty cup and go fill it up.
On page 152, Lysa says “Where there is a lack of rest, there is an abundance of stress.” Can she get an “amen”?
She then goes on to talk about the Sabbath and I have to be honest . . . When I start hearing about how I need to be resting on Sunday, I start to feel a bit of guilt because well . . . Sundays are crazy at our house.
We’re gearing up for a new week and looking over homework. We’re inevitably out of bread, which I need for Monday’s lunches, so it’s off to the grocery store I go. Then there’s new chores to assign for the week and allowances to pay-out and dinner to make.
In our house, ain’t nobody got time for the Sabbath on a Sunday. I don’t mean any disrespect but if I take my Sabbath on Sunday, I shudder to think of the chaos that would ensue on Monday morning.
But I can observe Sabbath on a Wednesday.
“Sabbath will be unique for each person,” Lysa writes on page 154.
When I read this, I felt like leading the Hallelujah chorus at the top of my lungs through my already-sleeping house of children. And you know I’m happy when I’m willing to disrupt a quiet house.
There aren’t rules on rest. If Sunday isn’t a realistic day for you to rest, pick another.
But why is rest so important?
Because “when the rhythm of my soul is survival instead of revival, I will come unglued” (page 156). Another “amen” anyone?
I‘m most apt to turn into Medusa with snake hair when I’m tired and simply surviving. Just ask my kids how I often act during bedtime hours. Normal Rockwellian golden moments before bed are a rarity around here because I just need a moment for crying out loud.
Lysa’s last chapter is about examining our “underbelly” – the stuff going on within us that is being brought to the surface during those unglued moments.
Sometimes, we are listening to lies from the enemy but other times, we’re hearing a nudge from the Holy Spirit. “Our Lord doesn’t whisper hushed condemnations. Convictions, yes. Condemnations, no” (page 171).
It’s possible that what’s making us come unglued is an area of ourselves that God is chiseling in an attempt to make His masterpiece even more beautiful.
But so very often, if our cup is empty, we can’t hear Him and we certainly don’t stop long enough to reflect on what’s really going on in our hearts.
So if we are still and listen, if we tune-out the daily demands and strive to find quiet space, we’ll discover this truth: rest for our soul is the gateway to a closer, more intimate relationship with God.
This is our last Unglued post! We’ll start a new study on Monday, October 13 . . . Stay tuned for the announcement of what we’ll read next!
So for today . . . in the comments, tell us: