Discipline and Accountability
The older I get the worse I sleep. I wake up because my shoulder aches, I wake up to use the bathroom, and I wake up if I’m too hot. I’m also a light sleeper so I wake up if I hear noises or sounds. Once awake, I often have trouble going back to sleep. My mind wanders and begins thinking about the next day’s activities. It’s very frustrating. Now, my wife on the other hand can sleep through just about anything. She never moves from the time her head hits the pillow until she has to get up the next morning. She could sleep through a tornado and not wake up. It must be nice to be able to rest like that. Rest is important for all of us. It is actually given to us by God. I found a great article in iDisciple by Jake Sumner called: The Disciple of Rest. I thought it fit perfectly – especially since we are at or near harvest season on the farms.
The Discipline of Rest
Life has been extremely busy the last few months. As our team prepares to launch iDisciple, it’s not unusual for us to work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. We realize this pace is not sustainable, but it’s what we’re called to for this season. When you face a busy time of life, rest is absolutely essential. Over the years, I’ve been incredibly intentional about building rest into my schedule, and as I’ve grown in this discipline, God has moved in amazing ways through this simple practice.
Psalm 127:1-2 has given me wise counsel on the subject of rest: “Unless the Lord builds the house the builder’s labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late toiling for food to eat for he grants sleep to those he loves.”
There are times that God calls us to tasks that seem beyond our abilities, budgets, and calendars. These verses give us a clear reminder that no matter what work we’re called to, our confidence doesn’t come from our own effort or abilities. Instead, God works through us to accomplish His plans. He is the one who is really “building the house” and “watching over the city.” He just invites us to be a part of His work. This is why we can rest. When we walk in dependence, He can do far more through us than when we are toiling under hard labor.
There is an alternate translation of Psalm 127:2 which reinforces this principle. . . “For while they sleep he provides for those he loves.” What an incredible picture of how God cares for each of us and continues to work, even as we sleep! When we choose to rest, we express our confidence that God is at work, even when we take a day off or lie down to sleep.
Depend on God and Experience Rest: Several years ago, I went through an incredibly difficult time. This situation consumed my thoughts all day long. Even when I lay down to sleep, I tried to find a solution to my problem, and my mind would race. I finally broke this pattern by repeatedly speaking Jesus’ name over my problem until I fell asleep. Even when I woke in the middle of the night when my mind started racing, dependence on Jesus helped me sleep again. Not only did He give me rest, but Christ provided the solution to my problem. He did work that I could have never done on my own. And, the way He worked in my situation was faster and more effective than years of my own planning and action would have been.
Are you facing a situation and you need to practice the discipline of rest to show you how to trust God? As you depend on Him, remember the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:24: “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”
“Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, thank you for rest. After You finished creating the world you rested. Help us to rest our bodies and our minds from our daily work. I pray that the rest will help us be better workers, fathers and mothers, and husbands and wives. It’s in Jesus name I pray, Amen.”