Okay, at first glance that title might sound odd, but think about it, busy Christians! We have our job and family responsibilities, we have the pressing list of “honey do” tasks that keep eating at us but don’t get done. We have church services, we join one ministry team or another at church, we hear “can you help me with this? You’re so good at that” from other church committees, school groups, and the like and inwardly we’re screaming “NO” so loudly as our own ears hear “sure, I’ll help” coming from our lips. Yes, sometimes it seems easier to be “agreeable.”
We do “our best” and at some point wonder why our kids seem have grown up without our realizing it, why the back yard is such a mess? How’d the grass get so unruly and high? Gosh, it’s hurricane season and we haven’t trimmed back the tree limbs . . . man there’s that book I wanted to read . . . and suddenly it seems that we’re constantly exhausted and all too often doing the same task twice because we aren’t satisfied with our efforts from the first go around and so we do the task again rather than rest and the cycle continues . . . sound at all familiar?
I know what peeves me the most is when I’m doing a task that I actually enjoy and some clown complains that I’m not doing “real work.” Hmmm . . . yes, all too often, it seems, our work is judged not by its worth, not by the benefit to society, not by its importance to the kingdom of God, but by our reaction to it. Seems on the occasions we are not frazzled and tired, and actually doing a task we take pleasure in, those around us rudely knock us. Seems we are expected to be miserable. I have a problem with that. It’s not what God expects. It’s what other humans expect.
First of all, on the seventh day God rested. Check it out. Genesis reports it quite clearly. He got His work done, saw that it was good, and rested. The other thing, God is God and Martha is Martha. This is a key point. If God Himself found it of value to rest, surely humans created in His image are to do so as well? Could it be said that we ESPECIALLY need this? We are not Him. We are not perfect. We need our rest. We need our time with Him. We will be far more able to serve if we give our bodies, minds, and spirits this time. When we are fully rested, we are enabled. We are more likely to “get it right the first time.” Taking time out makes us more productive on our daily tasks AND makes us better disciples! If we look and sound frazzled, how are we drawing others follow Him? We’re not reflecting Him when we’re like that! We are repelling others from following Him. We don’t mean to, but we do this.
Second of all, He doesn’t call us to be miserable servants of His. He calls us to certain kinds of work for Him and we are to do so with joy in Him. He is eager to pour out His love and grace on us. All we have to do is open our hands and hearts and receive it, but we don’t. We get busy being busy. We have stress and fear and we tighten up. We clench our fists and our hearts and then wonder why He’s not fulfilling His promise? Silly and flawed humans – it’s us – we are preventing His from doing so. The gifts He has for us just slip on by because we don’t let go of “our stuff” and receive His grace. If you hand me a gift and I don’t reach out with open hands, I can’t receive it. It’s the same with God. It’s that simple. He rested. He wishes to shower us with Himself. He wants us to have joy. TAKE IT!!!