(photo originally uploaded to Flickr by fonso)
As part of our daily staff prayer time, we’ve been following the liturgical calendar for our Bible readings. Today we read Psalm 127. Verse 1 is great. It talks about allowing God to build and protect because if we do it on our own it’s no good. Yes!
I, then, got to verse 2:
“It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.” Psalm 127:2 (NLT)
Wait a minute! Did I just read that right? It’s useless to work hard, being anxious? “…for God gives rest…” Rest? What’s that? Sometimes I can feel so busy “being used by God” doing what I think is essential for “the Kingdom” that I don’t feel rested. Could it be that I am not really being used by God? Could it be that what I am doing is not essential for the Kingdom?
If God truly gives us rest, and we aren’t receiving that rest, then we are not allowing God to do the building and protecting. We are doing it on our own strength. We are uselessly working hard.
If what I’ve noticed in blogs and tweets from fellow workers in children’s ministry recently is any indication, many of us are REALLY busy. When things get busy, it REALLY easy for us to rely on our own God-given gifts and talents to get things done. When that happens, we quickly get overwhelmed, tired, and burnt. In times like that we need to pause and make room for God to step in and take over. Only then can we have that rest God gives to his loved ones.
Now, I’m not saying that we need to stop what we are doing. We very well may need to keep doing all that we are doing. What I am saying is that we stop doing what we are doing IN OUR OWN STRENGTH. We need to do all that we do IN GOD’S STRENGTH. And that isn’t something that just happens. It’s something that we need to intentionally ask God for, which takes putting time in our daily schedule to pause (even for a short moment) to commune with God and allow him to fill us with His Spirit to do all that he has called us to do from day to day.
- What do you do when you start feeling overwhelmed?
- How do you keep from relying on just your talents and gifts to do the work of ministry?
- What are some ways you make space for God to fill you with his rest and strength when things get busy and sometimes crazy?