The human heart keeps pumping and pumping—even during the night.
Yet, it’s not constantly working. In between each contraction the heart relaxes and prepares for the next squeeze. If the heart loses its ability to rest it can be a dangerous life or death issue.
The heart has been created with the perfect balance between contracting and relaxing - working and resting. And sometimes I feel that I don’t have the time to rest... as if it's a waste of time to really stop, think & evaluate.
No matter who we are — whether we hold an important office in the church, whether we’re an overwhelmed college student, a busy homeschooling mom, or a missionary in a foreign land who has to do the jobs of three people — we too need to make time in the middle of our busy lives to recharge from the Source of all life.
The fact is when we attempt less, we may actually be able to accomplish more. Also if we are empowered by the Life-giver, we will be more effective and will feel less strain on our weak shoulders.
I heard this powerful quote in a sermon recently:
“Let no one overtax his God-given powers in an effort to advance the Lord’s work more rapidly. The power of man cannot hasten the work; with this must be united the power of heavenly intelligences. Only thus can the work of God be brought to perfection. Man cannot do God’s part of the work. A Paul may plant, and an Apollos water, but God gives the increase. In simplicity and meekness man is to co-operate with divine agencies, at all times doing his best, yet ever realizing that God is the great Master Workman. He is not to feel self-confident, for thus he will exhaust his reserve force and destroy his mental and physical powers. Though all the workmen now bearing the heaviest burdens should be laid aside, God’s work would be carried forward. Then let our zeal in labor be tempered with reason; let us cease our efforts to do that which the Lord alone can accomplish.”
Testimonies Vol. 7, pg 298
I’ve been struck again recently that busyness is one of Satan’s biggest traps. He doesn’t really mind if we are going to church, working hard for God, going to a Christian school, even reading the Bible… as long as we are too busy (even with good things) to cultivate a real abiding relationship with our Maker. He wants to steal our time and keep us so occupied that we feel like we don’t even have a few minutes to be still.
Sadly, I think Satan has this down pat. I believe he uses things like social media to fill the down times that could be used for heart-searching or Bible memory. At least for me, things like scrolling through my Instagram feed can become my default activity when there’s nothing else going on (even though social media can be used for ministry). It seems that I have a inner “need” to have something going on all the time. It’s hard nowadays in the rat race of life to actually have rejuvenating times of rest & reflection. (Note: This shouldn't be lazy lounging though.)
Pump, relax, pump, relax... work, rest, work, rest — that’s the heart’s song. And it needs to be ours too. Even when there appears to be an eternity of work ahead of us or our to-do list seems a mile long, it's necessary for us to set apart some precious time to rest in the arms of God.
Our spiritual life may be dying in the midst of working ourselves dry to serve others.
It’s a life or death issue.
My Jesus said these beautiful words long ago, yet they are still perfectly valid today —
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Let’s take advantage of that offer and not wait until our to-do list is completed. Let’s learn to sing the heart’s song.