Sunday, June 5, 2016

Being Tired and Going for a Ride


My little blue storage house was a mess. The cabinet was in an awkward position and everything had been piled in the door with no organization at all. Finally, I came to the end of my patience with it and pulled everything out. I left the things I needed close at hand and moved the hydraulic fluid (in the wagon above) to the barn, near the tractor. It was a great reorganizing that required many trips to the barn, dragging my wagon along.

Maggie and Mamie made every step alongside me. For the first trip or two to the barn. It wasn't long before their little legs tired out. They sat down on their haunches, looked up at my with their tired dog-eyes, and begged for a ride. 

They love riding in the wagon, especially if I go fast, so I loaded them and headed out. they rode until they were rested, then hopped out, and walked beside me again.

It was such a sensible solution that I took note of it. They worked until they were tired. Let me carry them until they were rested. Were hard at it again when they were refreshed.

I believe that's the way those of us who follow Christ should be. My tendency is to push on, no matter how tired I am. I've learned, however, that I can work in my garden past fatigue, but I'm not an efficient writer or editor if I'm tired. 

This whole business of resting and sleeping came to a head recently. I was getting up at 4 am and going to bed near midnight. Writing like a frenzy. Spending countless hours with Sam. Trying to get gardening and housework and yard work done in between. I was exhausted. A geyser of tears threatened just under the surface all the time. I needed rest.

I did what I always do. Prayed. Well, I whined to the Lord and called it prayer. "I'm so tired. What am I to do? Woe is me..." You might know about that kind of prayer yourself.

Early one morning, this verse slammed into me with the force of a bulldozer.

"It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep." Psalm 127:2 nasb

I'm kind of ashamed to admit this, but I read that verse and said, "Yeah. Right. I'm supposed to sleep late, go to bed early, and still get everything done. How's that gonna work, Lord?"

He clearly understood how tired I was, because that still small voice whispered in my heart. "No, dear. You're supposed to sleep when you're tired. Get up when you're rested. Do what I give you to do."

I knew that already, but I hadn't lived it for a while.

It stunned me. An overachiever like me? No alarm? No predawn mornings? No late nights? Still get all I had to do done?

I decided to give it a try. I turned off my alarm. Went to bed when I was tired. Woke up when I was rested. Sometimes that was before dawn. Sometimes it wasn't. I soon found that I felt better, but I couldn't get everything done.

"What's up with this?" I thought. The new plan wasn't working. I read the verse again and found the part about "painful labors". Maybe what God wanted was about more than sleep. 

I looked at the big garden I had planted and thought, "I hate this garden. I don't have time to do this, and the work is killing me." I prayed that God would forgive me if I was wrong, but I cleaned out the raised beds from last year, moved the healthiest plants from the garden to the raised beds, and semi-abandoned the big garden. It was too much.

My friend and I looked at the garden recently. "That garden looks rough, Leanna. You need some help?"

"Nope. God didn't tell me to do that garden. I just plunged ahead. I didn't know I'd be writing Hosea when I started. It's a reminder to ask first before I tackle such a big thing."

I'm happy to report that even my abandoned garden is producing enough vegetables for English peas and green beans for supper. The squash and zucchini are blooming like crazy, and the corn is higher than the weeds. It's God's garden now. He can do what He wants to with it.

The raised beds are beautiful. Tomatoes. Cantaloupe. Watermelon. Brussels sprouts. Onions. Lavender. Rosemary. Dill. Butterfly bushes. The fragrance is lovely. 

The raised-bed-garden is just big enough to enjoy and to produce the vegetables I most enjoy. The work is not too much for me, and doing it is a joy.

I'm rested again.

I can write again.

God gives to me even in my sleep.

Are you tired? Does it seem as if you're never done? Maybe you should take a lesson from Maggie and Mamie. (and Jesus) Rest when you're tired. Work when you're refreshed. And only do the jobs God's given to you.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, 
and I will give you rest." 
Matthew 11:28 nasb

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The Hosea chapter Six lesson is now live and here's the link: Hosea Chapter Six 
You don't have to be signed-up for the study to access the chapter lessons. 

In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Tambourine Girl

#rest #Sabbathrest #disciple #linesfromleanna