School life has a rhythm and operates around seasons. We are now in the season called summer vacation. From the faculty and staff’s point of view, it might be called a “season of rest.” In our utilitarian society, rest is almost a foreign concept. But it is dangerous to ignore.
I heard a story about a lecturer who was explaining stress management to an audience. He raised up a glass filled with water and asked the simple question, “How much does this glass of water weigh?” Those in the audience shouted out answers that ranged from 20g to 500g.
He responded, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter, it depends on how long someone tries to hold the glass. If you hold it for a minute, it feels quite light. But if you hold it for an hour, there will soon be an ache in your arm. If you try to hold it for an entire day, someone would have to call an ambulance!”
In each case, the weight was the same, but the longer someone had to hold the glass, the heavier it became.
He continued, “And that’s the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on. As with the glass of water, we need to lay our burdens down for a while and rest.”
That is exactly what David was trying to tell us in his acrostic poem we know as Psalm 37. With each stanza of the poem beginning with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet, David outlines a balanced way of life. Don’t fret (vs. 1), trust in the Lord (vs. 3), and commit your way to the Lord (vs. 4). In verse 7 he says REST in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. The NIV renders it “be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”
God knows that a burden held incessantly will defeat us. It saps our energy, discourages our attitudes, melts our courage and dilutes our passion.
So this week, as you head home from work, take a moment before you turn the car engine on and lay your burden down at the foot of the cross. If you do, you will be able to actually REST when you get home. Moms, as the day winds down, intentionally spend a moment with the Lord and release the stress of the children and the day. Drop those pressures into a “tomorrow box” and REST awhile.
I know, we will all likely need to pick up some of the burdens again tomorrow, but in the mean time, we can “rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” Our arms will feel much better tomorrow!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel