Rest, Transplanted and Still Blooming, Cinthia Milner

Get Some Rest (And Some Takeout)

Lately, when I wake up, before I even open my eyes, my mind forms the words, “Lord, send back-up. I’m pooped.”

He hasn’t.

I’m still waiting.

Today, I got a little aggravated. It isn’t every day that I openly acknowledge running out of steam. It isn’t every day that I cop to being too exhausted to run the world or my itty-bitty portion of it. I rarely admit to being overwhelmed or unable. I know, silly me. But, since I did cop to it, I figured God would send in the troops. I imagined him proud and waving off his angels to aid me, saying, “Yes, go. She’s finally learned a new word: Help.”

Well, I did learn a new word. So where the heck is the help? Are the angels delayed as they were with Daniel? (Daniel 10:12) Fighting off the kings of Persia? Is Persia still a country?

I started looking around. Maybe I was missing something. You know, one of those cryptic things right in front of you that you never see or saw. There was nothing, and here I need someone to write garden notes, clean out the grill, dig out the old boards around the now-gone cherry tree so the stump grinder can get in there, detail my car, and go buy some groceries–or better yet–cook. It’s been weeks since I had an actual meal. Cereal and microwave popcorn only get you so far. And, I’m way past the 3 weeks Daniel had to wait.

Come on. One angel, that can clean or garden or cook? It can be a runty angel. It doesn’t need to be the warrior angels, Gabriel or Michael. A domesticated angel?

I needed insight into why no extra hands were being provided, so I did my daily Bible Study with the intention of getting to the bottom of it. I was in Mark, chapter 6, when I read verse 31.

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he [Jesus] said to them [his disciples], “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Jesus’ disciples were overworked, overwhelmed and likely way over all the people that came seeking Jesus. People who didn’t need a specimen tree in their new landscape, but a miracle for a sick and dying child. Loved ones pleading for loved ones, calling to Jesus for a healing touch. In the midst of that enormous need, Jesus pulled his disciples away to eat and rest.

It explained the missing troops. God wasn’t sending troops. He wanted me to pull away, rest and eat. So okay, but, I literally don’t know how to stop working.

There’s a reason for that. I’m not a workaholic. I have trust issues.

I work hourly. That translates to: If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. That’s a tough pill to swallow for a girl that used to have a benefits package, and a vacation didn’t equal less income. But, I’m not generally a griper. I’m more of a pragmatist. My reasoning is simple. Since I don’t get paid to take time off, I don’t take time off.  Not even Sundays. My friend, Julia, said, “Sounds like a trust issue to me.”

Okay, breaking down Mark 6:31 is easy. We can translate this one literally.

  • First, find a quiet place. My bedroom fits the bill.
  • Second, get away from the hoards needing something from you NOW. Turn the phone/IPad/computer off.
  • Third, maybe get some food, an actual meal. Take out!
  • Fourth, hang out with Jesus. He really can restore a weary soul.
  • Fifth, no work. Just rest. Seriously, do something creative or get some sleep.

But, what about the missing paycheck and the to-do list? What about those people who needed Jesus to give life to the dying, cure the lame, restore sight, and stop bleeding?  What about, what about, what about? Also, in Matthew 6:

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your lifea]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

These are Jesus’ words. He wants me to know that my heavenly father knows my needs, and he has the benefits package. And, there’s the trust thing. I want to trust him with my plan (extra troops and back-up or unlimited sick and vacation days), not his plan (go to a quiet place, eat and rest in the midst of the chaos of life). But, since no troops have arrived, and Persia is now Iran, which could really hold up some angels, my options are to have a nervous breakdown, or get some rest, and trust God to provide.

I’m going for the rest.

Phones are off. The computer is going off. Chinese take-out boxes are on the nightstand. And, hopefully, clients needing it all done now are resting, too.

When Our Hearts and Our Flesh Fail; The Secret to a Successful Life

In week one of Bible study, we talked about suffering. Unfortunately, we will all suffer. This week Psalm 73:25-26 leapt out at me in my personal suffering, and put another dimension on the topic. My roommate from college, Donna, sent these verses ito me in a text because my mother–my energetic, vibrant, determined, stubborn, always on the go, Independent  outgoing, godly mother–passed away. Very unexpectedly and very suddenly. Tomorrow will be one week. When my oldest sister called me to tell me someone had died, my mom was not on my radar. She radiated life, not death. And I could not describe how I felt until I read this passage. Psalm 73:25-26

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength[b] of my heart and my portion forever.

I read these verses when I was throwing up. A stomach bug attacked our house (myself, my two sons, daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters) this week. I was its Wednesday victim–the day my mother’s physical body ceased to exist. She was cremated that day. I literally came unglued while throwing up. My flesh and my heart both failed me.

These verses spoke to my condition because God was telling me, that stomach bug aside, my ability to cope with the week’s events was nonexistent.

My cousin, Kim, the pastor who spoke at Mom’s memorial told the family that humans don’t have death in their DNA. God created us for life, not death, he said, It was sin that brought death into our world, and so death is unnatural to us. It is not something we actually know how to handle. But God does. He is our coping mechanism when we have none, and so far as death goes, we have none.

My mother knew this. I watched this past week as the dichotomy of Mom’s life played out. A woman whose resources were so few, lived a life that was so full. Her bank account and her life did not match. Her assets were people, her joy was the Lord. The receiving line at her memorial overflowed with those she had involved herself with. When I view my mother’s life, it literally makes no sense from a worldly perspective. My Coastie son spoke at her funeral, and said, “Maurme (the grandchildren’s name for her) lived life like she drove, about a 100 miles an hour.” Meaning, she lived it to the fullest. How is this possible for a person in her situation? At 77 years of age, she still worked to provide an income for herself.

The Lord was the strength of her heart and her portion forever. 

She let God worry about the things she had no control over. And, let’s face it, other than making up our beds (which Mom always did, and did it HER way), there’s not much we do have control over. Her life was a puzzlement outside of God. She was happy, joyful, cheerful, had a ton of friends, and in her words, few worries. What was the secret to her success?

The Lord was the strength of her heart and her portion forever.

This week’s lesson only has one question because it is the question I have pondered all week, and perhaps you need to ponder it too.

If the Lord is my strength and my portion, why do I wait to live? 

Please feel free to leave comments below. I am always blessed by them.

Father, gracious and precious to us, be our strength and our portion. Teach us to live fully, not waiting until everything is just right or ready, but to live in the present moment with you. May we take our hands off the reigns, stop trying to control every aspect of life, stop trying to achieve, and just receive. In Jesus strong name, Amen..