Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Time of Rest

I do not believe I have ever been so busy in my entire life! From sun up to well after the sun goes down I've been staying active with school and church and homework and housework and friends. My days seem fantastically long yet by the end of it I wonder how it went by so fast. And yet, through all that is going on I feel more at rest now than I have in all of my adult life. How is that even possible?

I could so easily be stressed out and exhausted. There is always so much to do and always somewhere I need to go. But I'm not stressed, I'm at peace, and I usually feel well rested. This amazes me! Back home I only worked part time, only went to church a couples times a week, was not in school and had very few household responsibilities; yet I would often feel exhausted and overwhelmed with the little bit that I did have to do. So what makes the difference? Why do I feel so at peace and rest now when I am three times as busy as I was before?

I believe this is the key. When I came out here to Redding, I felt the Lord tell me that this would be a time of rest. It was not a time for me to learn how to DO more for God, it was a time for me to learn to BE more for God. Just to be. There is a fine line between being and doing, and from the outside it may look exactly the same. I could be doing exactly the same things I am doing now but if I do it out of a spirit of striving, a spirit of DOING, I would run myself thin and find myself stressed out and exhausted. But instead I have embraced an attitude of intimacy with Christ, an attitude of BEING.

My focus has been so much on Christ these last several weeks, so much on just getting closer to Jesus. I am learning to invite Jesus into everything I do, every moment of the day and just be with him. Whether that by at school or church, in my dorm doing homework, or hanging out with my friends, I am learning to invite Jesus into those moments and have an attitude of being, not doing.

So what does that practically look like? It is one thing to understand this concept in your mind, it is completely another to understand it in action. So much of being has to do with taking whatever task you have to do and giving it to God. I will use myself as an example. The homework load has been quite heavy here at Bethel. We have so much reading to do and so many assignments to complete. Some assignments are very enjoyable and life giving, but others are a lot more difficult to get through. It would be so easy for me to get frustrated and overwhelmed. But I have committed my schoolwork to the Lord. I have said to him, "Lord, I am doing this for your glory. I am doing this so that I can better understand your ways. Take this from me Lord and help me complete it with excellence." Once I've done that I leave the stress of it all in his hands. I just do the work to the best of my abilities, without striving, knowing that God will help me complete it because I have placed it in his hands. As a result, I have finished all of my homework on time, if not well ahead of time (even when I thought I was behind) with no stress and plenty of sleep. How? I don't know, except by the grace of God.

This is just an example of the many ways God has given me grace to rest in the midst of my busyness. I have also found that in those moments that I do have time to truly rest and do nothing I come away feeling more rested then what is natural, because I have also given those times to the Lord.

I am learning so much here at BSSM. I could have written this blog about a number of things. but I felt that this issue of rest is a key topic that God wishes to share with people. So I encourage you to take a moment, find your quiet place with God in the midst of your hectic day and say, "Lord, teach me how to BE more and DO less."

Blessings on all of you Amazing Children of God,

I cherish your continued prayers and support.

Miranda Joy Turpin

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