Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Working While Resting?

So, yesterday's post was all about allowing the Lord to build our "house"---our hopes, our dreams and our plans for the future. We all know either from firsthand experience or watching a TV show like, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, that constructing a home takes T-I-M-E. Even on Extreme Makeover, with nearly a hundred construction workers, helpers, designers and the like, the process of constructing something from nothing takes time. Ponder this acrostic that I made up:  
 T hings
    I mprove 
                                                   M ost
                                                         E ventually
 See, no matter what you may be waiting for. Things improve most eventually! Ever heard of "bad grammar, good gospel?" Case in point. :-) Every thing that is of value takes TIME to grow. Someone told me a very encouraging story last night about the Chinese bamboo tree. I learned that it takes this tree on average 5 years to sprout! Think of the planter who waters and nurtures this plant for 5 years without ever seeing any results! But by faith, he continues to water and nurture it day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Then in the fifth year, something amazing happens. That Chinese bamboo tree explodes out of the ground and grows up to 98 feet tall in ONE GROWING SEASON (4-5 months)!! That's huge . . . literally! Just think if that farmer said, "You know, I don't see anything happening, I may as well cut down this tree and choose another plant." It takes time to see results! 

So, what to do in the waiting? Well, there are two ways in which we can wait: passively or actively. The Bible is clear that "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:17). Yet works without faith is insanity! We need both. I love the book, What to Expect When You're Expecting (a must-have for soon-to-be mamas and daddies). I just love the title. Expectation is the exact posture we need to have while waiting for the promise. In our expectation, we rest, but we also work. Huh? Is it really possible to work while resting? You bet it is. 

Right now, I am in a season of my life where I am believing God for BIG things. But, I'm not sitting around twiddling my thumbs hoping success will just fall on me! I'm planning my work and working my plan, and trusting God the whole way through to accomplish His plan in Him timing and in His way. That, friends, is active rest. I am not anxious, nor am I desperate. I know that in T-I-M-E, my answer will come and it will be a big, loud YES! 

"Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!" (Proverbs 6:6). Notice the difference between the wise ant and the foolish sluggard. Being lazy, lethargic and not on purpose leads to folly, destruction and lost hope. The ants are busy accomplishing their task FOR A SEASON and then they rest all winter. You can't rest if you haven't worked! So, in whatever season of life this finds you, please allow me to encourage you to actively rest in God. Pray over your plans daily, being cognizant  of God's Master plan, then work your plan. And after you've done all you can (be that praying, worshiping, putting a plan of action together, making a phone call, etc.), REST!! God's got this. 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philipians 4:6-7) 

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