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Space4Grace

Guest Post by Starla Smith from Sunday2Monday.blog

Last year I was at the Foursquare Heartland District Conference with the staff of Springs of Life in Indiana. The theme of this conference was BEHOLD. The whole conference over and over again was reinforced with the image of Jesus our Shepherd. They encouraged us to really follow The Shepherd of our souls. That’s when it happened. Right there in the middle of worship, I got this vision of pools of water purposefully created for the sheep to drink deep so that the sheep, who were also like trees in this vision, could develop deep roots in Christ. Watering Hole is a simple space for those who hear the call of the Shepherd’s voice to “Come and get a drink.”

In this vision, I sensed that the Lord wanted me to take what my Pastor was saying to our church and say it again. That is how this blog got the name Sunday2Monday. Each week I retranslate what I hear through my ears and spirit, what is said on Sunday, on Monday.  I want to keep the truth nuggets that the Lord is giving our church. I want us to grow deeper this year. I figure the only way to do that,  is to stop letting the lessons and the treasure of the Word, pass us by. I am getting intentional and I invite whoever wants to join me on this journey to comment and share that journey too. 

Sunday2Monday: Space4Grace

One of my 2018 goals is: WRITE MORE

Rule #1 – If you want to accomplish anything then you have to schedule it. 

Every week on Monday I will write about what my Pastor spoke about on Sunday at my Church. I scheduled writing on the calendar and now I have an outlet to put that writing out.

Let’s begin!

Its the beginning of the year and our Pastor is leading our church into a beautiful place. REST! He began with “Church, we have a problem!” He talked about how more and more people are being diagnosed with issues of all kinds; mental, emotional, and physical issues. Yet, these issues the professionals can’t pinpoint so they just medicate and treat the symptoms. Could it be that there is something wrong with our souls?

Matt 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

We are tired! Worn out! Burnt out! Why? 

Because we run 24/7 and do not allow proper rest for our souls. He said, “we don’t live 10 commandments, we live 9.” How? We don’t Sabbath. We don’t look at the 4th commandment and think “I need that!” I didn’t. I thought “I got this! I can do it! I am strong.” Then I would put on another pot of coffee, pour a fizzy stick into my water or take a vitamin B12. It wasn’t working. It doesn’t work. And we know this! But we still keep on keeping on. Running on empty. So what’s the problem? My Pastor says that we live like “practical atheists.”  A practical atheist is a person who believes in God but in their daily life does not live as though He actually exists. If God is our Creator does it not make sense that He would know how we work? Is it possible that the reason God created 24/6 is that He knew 6 days only is how we can run at an optimal level and thrive? But no, we live the way of the practical atheist and not just when it comes to rest and scheduling. We also try to be our own comforter, healer, and diagnoser of issues.  Anyone been there? I have. I have comforted myself with books and ice cream. I have tried to diagnose my own heart and set up my own plan of healing which usually entails someone else changing. Right?! Because I don’t have time to change me! That kind of living is not why Jesus came. He came to give us rest, true beautiful hope-filled rest. He said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me.” Here’s the bottom line, there are underlying questions that we have to wrestle with and the reason behind why we run at mac speed ahead. 

2 questions we need to ask if we are still running empty:

  1. Do I trust God?
  2. Do I believe He really is good?

What will happen if you don’t work 7 days a week? I know you are thinking a whole list of “But what about this? or that?” Yeah. I know! It’s not easy. It will require you to wrestle with the truths that are found in the Scriptures.

Psalm 100:3 Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

I am on staff at my church as the youth coordinator and for the past year, the leadership has been walking through a process to implement margin and space for rest. It is not easy. Last year was one of those “hard years” for me anyways.  I believe scheduling a day of rest truly helped me survive and be able to thrive. Even if it was a little like a flower growing up in a mud puddle. Trust me, I didn’t do it all that well! At first, trying to shut my brain down took serious effort. It usually required me to binge Netflix just to not think about what I have to do for work. It never stops. Also, needs never stop and time gets taken up and snipped away in tasks with no effort. Just poof – gone! So I mentally knew making rest a priority was important to me. Most the time I just felt like I spent too much time on social media or reading online and my eyes need a cold pack or an Advil for the brain cramp I gave myself. Some of the upsides are reconnecting with what brings me delight and joy: Reading, Writing, Singing, Eating good food with friends, having a great one on one conversations, hanging with my family, naps, walking and petting my cat. Those are the types of things I do on my day of rest. I don’t do it perfectly.  I got the time and day scheduled part down. This year I want to take it deeper. For me to be healthy I need time to reflect on life and also I want to find a better way to me to process the messages my Pastor is giving at our church and work through them and implement what the Lord has for me.

Our Pastor gave us a little cautionary note. He said:

“Remember! It is not about taking a day off. (I heard: It’s not about rules.) it is about living the principals that God has set out for us.”

He called the series: Rhythms of Grace. 

We need a Rhythm of Grace in our lives so that when speed bumps come in life we are not taken by surprise and find ourselves crashing through life out of control because we have no margin, no space to breath and exhale the grace of God in our lives.  I have set my heart to do it and I believe God blesses me because I honor Him. Mark 2:27 Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.” This gift is for YOU!

Have you scheduled space for grace? 

Meet me over at the Watering Hole  as we unpack further what it means to Come to Jesus. 

Thanks for listening,

Starla

 

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