October is usually a time of reflection for me. It follows the busyness of September that, due to the nature of the volunteer opportunities in which I am involved, demands a great deal of my time and energy. Things that can be ignored or put off until later give way to activities with deadlines and greater priority. I suppose I would find it quite frustrating had I not enjoyed what I was doing so much!
Finally, on Thursday past, I woke up feeling eager for a change of pace. Sitting snug under my cozy throw in our big black leather chair, healthy smoothie in hand, and calmed by the gentle purring of kitty nearby, I open my Bible and devotional book. I anticipate a special time listening for the voice of God to my heart. I realize I missed yesterday’s reading so I catch up. As I read I smile to myself for yesterday’s words God meant for today,
“Rest in Me, My weary one, for this is a form of worship.”[i]
Hmmmm…hadn’t thought of it quite that way before but how true it is! Jesus Himself told people,
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (NLT)
Oh, how many times I have had to remind myself of these verses! While my service for the Lord is a form of worship too, it can usurp the depth of worship that should take place during times of rest.
Balancing different forms of worship in my life involves self-control. So too does healthy living, building meaningful relationships, managing my strengths and weaknesses, and keeping my emotional responses in check. God has much to say about self-control,
“A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.” Proverbs 25:28 (NLT)
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity…but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self–control.” II Timothy 1:7 (AMP)
“So prepare your minds for action and exercise self–control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.” I Peter 1:13 (NLT)
I’m not sure if self-control ever comes easily for some people, but it is a daily struggle for me in certain areas. My goal during this October is to make this quality a priority. I don’t want to be like a “broken down wall” that causes me to be so vulnerable to temptation, invading forces, and defeat. Instead, as I fear the Lord, I desire for God to make me a strong defense filled with confidence. (Proverbs 14:26, NABRE, ESV)
Until next time,
**All photos by Kathy Lai
[i] Young, Sarah. Jesus Calling, 2004, Thomas Nelson Publishing, Nashville, Tennessee, pg. 288