Matthew R. Baker - On Rest

Going into the Thanksgiving holiday, I had grand plans for how I was going to spend my time. I was going to take Wednesday through Saturday off from working in my business and do some much-needed work on my business. Of course, I was going to spend plenty of time eating, playing, and just being with my family. But there’s only so much I can consume before I feel the need to start producing again.

On Tuesday morning, I woke up with a really scratchy throat and bad sinus drainage. I felt pretty good otherwise, so I wrote these symptoms off as seasonal allergies. As the morning wore on, I couldn’t talk without throat pain, so I cancelled the day’s meetings, again citing allergies.

By mid-afternoon, I was feeling worse. I knew I was coming down with something. I couldn’t maintain focus and work productively. That evening I had chills and a low-grade fever, plus a nasty cough. I was officially sick.

Needless to say, I didn’t get any work done on my business on Wednesday. Nor on Thursday, nor on Friday. Though my symptoms improved daily, my mind was not in a place where I could focus. The most I could bring myself to do was some light reading and video games with my brother.

I needed to rest.

About a month ago, I finished a book titled He Sat Down (So You Can Too) by Wes Raley. Simple as it was, that book opened my eyes to how much of a “Martha” I’ve been all my life. (If you recall, the sisters Mary and Martha had very different responses to Jesus’ presence; Mary sat at his feet and listened, while Martha was “distracted with much serving” [Luke 10:40].) I’ve spent most of my life chasing goals and productivity, while Jesus has taken a seat at the right hand of God’s throne and invites us to adopt the same posture (Hebrews 10:12; Ephesians 2:6).

I remember a testimony from a lady at my church that hit this point home. She too had busied herself with much serving, pouring herself out for the ministry she felt called to serve in. But she hadn’t taken much time to do what was most important: to seek God’s direction about her over-commitment.

On a ministry retreat, she fell terribly ill and was bedridden for days. She couldn’t serve at all. All she could do was like in bed and pray. And, as she related, she realized God put her there because it was the only way He could force her to rest and tell her what she needed to hear about her life being out of balance.

This cold, as awful and inconvenient as it was, has forced me to rest. As weird as it may sound, I do believe God allowed me to catch this cold so He could force me to rest. And, I believe He has been working in my life to help me understand that He has everything under control. I don’t need to be running around trying to figure everything out when He has it figured out already. I just need to sit down and embrace the peace that comes from following Him. Put simply, I need to stop being a Martha and start being a Mary.

Thankfully, I’m feeling much better and will be able to get back to work next week. But I would be a fool if I picked right back up where I left off, not applying this lesson to my life. As such, I’m committing to live, work, and play from a seated, rested position, knowing that Jesus’ yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).

Plus, it’s a much better alternative to running around like a chicken with its head cut off!


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