When I was in college, I was a member of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Our staff workers taught me about spiritual disciplines and encouraged me to make un-rushed time with God a priority. They urged me to take occasional retreats of silence, three to four hours without speaking to anyone, set aside to pray and listen to God. Those retreats were refreshing and helped me to focus on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). It became much more difficult to find the time for these activities after graduation. Jobs, children, homeschooling, household and church responsibilities quickly filled every hour of my life.
This week, I am on vacation with my husband. Away from the responsibilities and relationships that fill my days. No housework or weeding the yard here. It’s truly rest. Although I have been looking forward to spending long hours with my husband, I have also been eager to have long hours with my Lord. The world around me takes a back seat to the most significant relationships in my life. I can open my Bible and pray without looking at the clock or my cell phone. I am revived.
I brought a book entitled, Working from a place of rest. The author focuses on Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4). Jesus, weary from his journey, hot, perhaps sweaty, and hungry, sat beside the well, resting his feet, while his friends went for food. The discussion of Christian service burnout begins with a chapter about Jesus’ humanity. The following quote spoke to my heart this morning, and I pray that it will encourage you.
During his life on earth, Jesus related to God as a human being, in the same way that we do. That is why – surprisingly, perhaps – we find him in prayer so often. He was completely dependent upon God and needed to receive divine strength for the task ahead of him. He was led by the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit, and anointed by the Spirit, showing by his example what it means for a man or woman to live in fellowship with God…
Jesus understands my heart, my thoughts, my experiences, my life. The image of a Holy God on a Throne without form, omnipotent, however wonderful to call Father, is hard to identify with. But I can relate to God in the form of a person, who was tempted in every way I am (Hebrews 4:15). I call on the Father, am indwelt by the Spirit, but it is the Son to whom I will run for an embrace when I see Him face to face (I Cor 13.12).
Good Morning! Nicole