When Rest Accomplishes More

I was startled awake by the distant ringing of my phone. The clock read five forty-something, almost six o’clock. A bit later than I normally get up. But this morning, I was sick. Still sick from a bad something-or-other that I caught around the end of the year. I was tired and wanted to go back to sleep.

Concerned that the call may have been from or about my mom who has been sick for years, I got out of bed and searched for my phone. I picked it up and looked for the missed call notification. No call had actually come through.

God? Was it You that woke me?

I felt miserable. But if it was the Lord who woke me up, I wanted to be obedient to His request. I got a cup of coffee and headed to my prayer room.

I asked the Lord who needed prayer or what was His request. All I heard was the stubborn ringing in my left ear. My mind became flooded with so many thoughts and ideas that I’m not sure I would have heard Him if He did speak.

How do I tame my mind to hear God? Was this all a waste of my time? My eyes burned. It was hard to breathe. I really wanted to just lay my head down on a pillow and sleep again.

I focused on my first thought and concern, that of my mother. I covered her in prayer, quickly prayed for other family members, and waited on the Lord again. Or rather, I tried to.

My mind went through several other hoops and scenarios. Finally, as I began to unwind the tangled thoughts, I gave myself permission to just be still. Be still. Yes, I knew that verse. “Be still and know that I am God.”

Walk with Me, and talk with Me.

Hey! That’s an old hymn. In the Garden: “He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own.” But I sensed that He was telling me to walk and talk with Him—emphasis on the “walk.”

Walk with Me, and talk with Me. Don’t always be in such a rush—striving to complete and accomplish. More precious to Me is the one who rests. This way, you will hear My agenda rather than yours. You will actually accomplish more when you rest with Me.

Ouch! How true this is. Sadly, it is not the first time the Lord has told me this. I bet you know this as well.

A few weeks ago, I made a list and a plan for 2024. It included all the things I was currently involved in and new things that I hoped to do. Not on the list, were the things that I needed to let go of.  So, I jumped into 2024 with excitement. Only a week in and I am sick and overwhelmed. Haha!

But today, by making my phone ring in my mind, God got me out of bed. He let me spin the wheels of my mind and imagination while He patiently waited for the whirring to slow down. Then, He spoke.

So are my goals for 2024 too ambitious? Maybe, but also maybe not. I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. So it will come down to which goals were inspired by Him, and which were of my own.

If I try to accomplish my goals on my own, I’ll likely fall short, or at least be stressed over striving to reach them. I’ll be frustrated over the processes, rather than joyful. If I slow down and rest with the Lord, He will make my path straight. He will show me how to accomplish much with less—less time, less stress, fewer mistakes. I may even accomplish more. But only with and through Him.

God’s Word is clear. He loves us. He is for us. He has great plans for us. He has created us with purpose and skills. He equips us and supplies all our needs. His word says that His followers even “have the mind of Christ”, meaning access to Him by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:16).

We will achieve unimaginable things when we partner with the Creator and Lover of our souls. Otherwise, we will likely live stress-out lives and miss the gifts and goals He designed for us.

I think I’ll go look over that goal list with a new mind-set—Christ’s.

Rest (with Him) to accomplish more.

Happy New Year!