Day 74- The Rest- Filled Mile

“I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord God.” Ezekiel 34:15

We attempt to find rest in so many things. In vacations and brainless movies. On the beach and in the quiet mornings. These things are not bad in and of themselves, but God is asking us to look further- not to things that simply manifest Him as an escape, but to draw you to Himself.

Lent is a time to examine ourselves, to enable us to go deeper, and one thing that God has been speaking to me about is this concept of rest. I find that I many times have confused this concept of rest with mere distraction, which even something so beautiful as a sunset can be.

We seem to be more focused on the object or event than the Master. But Jesus wants us to go deeper. Is the thing you are observing and doing to find that rest drawing you to Him? Or is it completely mindless, only taking up time that you already don’t have?

The difference is that His rest produces fruit and futile rest is a time waster

With the coronavirus pandemic upon us, many of us have had our lives upended for the next two weeks. Here in South Florida, courts have been closed, schools have been closed and mass gatherings have stopped. As our schedules are cleared and the promise of time has returned to us, the Lord is asking us,

What will you do with the time? 

There are so many beautiful bible verses that can help us to reflect on this, and they all say the same thing, time on this earth is not promised. So when we are given back time by God, what do we do with it? 

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we shall go into such and such a town, spend a year there doing business, and make a profit”—you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow. You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears. Instead you should say, “If the Lord wills it, we shall live to do this or that.” James 4:13-15

The bible commentary on this passage says this, “If the Lord wills it: often in piety referred to as the “conditio Jacobaea,” the condition James says we should employ to qualify all our plans.”

So “conditio Jacobaea” is a state of mind, of being. Of gauging everything we do through the will of God. It is a contemplation, a movement of soul which forces us to reconcile with our own powerlessness and sends our eyes to gaze back upon God.

So the idea of Lenten rest is not to benefit our bodies alone, but more deeply our souls. Lenten rest is not for us or about us, but about Him. So with the giving of time by God comes the responsibility of its usage.

Will your eyes be on a screen or on me?

As our country and our world continue to monitor the mass casualty effects of COVD-19, let us use the time we have been given back wisely. As Christians, let us turn our eyes from death to life, and embrace our Lenten rest. This rest which is guaranteed to bear fruit, will lead us to prayer which will always lead us back to Him.

Heavenly Father,

Show me how to really rest in you. This may be through a good spiritual book, meditating on your Word, or simply resting in your presence. I thank you for the gift of time and pray that with your help, I will use it wisely. Always, I  come in gratitude to you and subservient to your Will.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

 

4 thoughts on “Day 74- The Rest- Filled Mile

  1. Nicholas

    I work in litigation and we are all wondering what the court system in this country is going to do. I pushed out a Defence this week. Will the directions questionnaire be forthcoming? Who knows.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Melissa Zelniker-Presser

      I am a general counsel and still litigate from time to time. Our courts closed all jury trials (not already in progress) and jury pools on Thursday, but yesterday, the Chief Judge of our Supreme Court expanded that and gave authority to the counties to make decisions on court closures.
      Our court system is now closed unless it is a due process hearing (first appearance etc.) or an emergency (domestic violence), All satellite courthouses are also closed.
      The press is reporting 25 new cases overnight here in Broward County with hundreds of tests pending. The problem is that we are the county where Port Everglades resides, which is where all the cruise ships come in. Our positive case count is the largest in the State of Florida right now.
      I will be working throughout the two weeks as we anticipate rolling out emergency orders and giving more direction to our first responders. I am praying that God keeps me healthy so that if I am called in to work to help in other areas in the city or police station, I will be able to do that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jock McSporran

    Melissa – if you’re in Florida, then you probably don’t have too much to worry about. I read somewhere that the virus doesn’t survive too well in temperatures over 27 centigrade (i.e. over 80 Farenheit) – which is approximately what you have right now in Port Everglades (I checked this up on yr.no which is where I usually get my weather).

    Of course, if you have an influx of people off a cruise boat who are heavily infected, then this might make a difference, but if you keep a good distance from them, then you’re probably OK.

    By the way – did anyone here ever see Ingemar Bergman’s `Det Sjunde Inseglet’ (the seventh seal)? I was thinking about that movie when I saw that Max von Sydow had died and I thought it topical in view of the current plague that we’re supposed to be awfully careful of.

    The basic message of that movie is that if Bengt Ekerot is behind you carrying his scythe, then it doesn’t matter how much you wash your hands – when your time comes, your time comes.

    I started watching Ingemar Bergman movies basically as a dose of medicine because I had to learn Swedish. Most were not my cup of tea, but I enjoyed that one.

    I thought that Bengt Ekerot was the best actor there – and outplayed Max von Sydow. Also, Gunnar Björnstrand (Max von Sydow’s side-kick) made more of an impression on me than Max von Sydow. This isn’t to detract from the brilliant performance of Max von Sydow.

    In view of the current plague situation – I’ll try to find time to watch it again this evening.

    I saw in his obituary that he had also acted in English language films, but I never saw anything of that – I only saw him speaking Swedish in Ingemar Bergman movies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Melissa Zelniker-Presser

      I pray you are right! We have taken every precaution. I am encouraging the kids to play outside for this reason which is never a bad thing!
      I have not seen that movie. I will have to definitely check it out!

      Liked by 1 person

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