by Mike Sandy
God has been teaching me recently about how important it is to rest and reflect. Resting alone is important, too. But sometimes we need to "redeem the time" and be intentional even in the way we rest. God has been showing be that in the moment I don't always appreciate everything He is doing in my life. For example, a family member may go our of their way to help me feel at home while I am on the road during furlough. It is so easy for me to take this for granted.
Because I was trained to say "Please," and "Thank You," from an early age, it is natural for me to just say thanks for the help I receive. But I have discovered that there is a fountain of joy in my heart when I take a few minutes to rest and reflect on the loving actions of people God has brought into my life. I often just ask myself, "Why would someone be that nice to me?" The answer always has to do with love. Not romantic love, but a simply yet beautiful "love attitude" that exudes from a person who cares about you.
My theory is that this "rest and reflect" prescription is not just for me, and it's not just to have a quick experience of joy in my heart. It is something that is intended whenever we "Sabbath," or rest in God's promises.
Try it out sometime. See if it works for you. For me, I usually feel closer to the person who I reflect about, feel a dose of joy enter my heart, and become more aware of God's presence in my life (even when I am not thinking about it!).
I hope this helps someone out there. It helps me, and I intend to "rest and reflect" often as a way to continually grow in my appreciation for others and move into greater compassion when I pray for them. It even helps me when I reflect on my kids. What amazing kids God has given me. They teach me so much, and they give me strength (even when they drain me). I take them for granted too much. Thank you God for my kids! Thank you God for everyone you bring into my life to help me see your face more clearly.
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." - Psalm 100:4