Matthew 11:28 NKJV
I Corinthians 13:11 NKJV
Romans 8:28 NKJV
When I first started practicing meditation years ago I struggled to understand how to ‘still’ my mind.
I think the problem was that I wasn’t fully aware of all the advantages of resting my mind. I understood how to rest my body but I’d not thought about being intentional when it came to slowing my brain.
As I started practicing how to rest my body and my brain, someone described it as clearing the roads in my brain. I am a visual person, so seeing a road and intentionally having cars pull off the road was helpful. In the early days and months, I made sure I could sit in a very quiet place so there were no distractions.
Even today, that’s helpful but not necessary. With a lot of practice I am now able to rest my mind and my body even in a crowded room. Now, even barking dogs and crying babies don’t deter me from experiencing restful meditation.
I’ve also learned where ‘home’ is…
In Matthew 11:28 we learn, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Jesus explained to those who came that He WAS rest and we can take our heavy burdens to God. Giving our burdens to God (also called surrender) means we turn to Jesus/God and rely on His strength.
When I was young my dad would talk about surrendering his burdens to God, so I did have some context about what it meant to give something to God. I hadn’t really fully practiced it though until after my dad went to be with Jesus. I found that I was relying on him when I had a problem. When my dad was just a phone call away, I would call him first.
I Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
Suddenly I wasn’t a child anymore.
I grew up.
My faith grew.
Looking back, every time I suffered a loss my faith grew. I can see the roadmap of God’s plan for me and that plan included bringing good to me. Romans 8:28 tells us “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
ALL THINGS WERE FOR MY GOOD.
It’s usually true that practicing something helps us get better at it. When I was young and I took piano lessons I was told that “practice makes perfect”. The same concept applies to practicing how to rest in God.
I’d like to be able to tell you that one day I woke up and resting in God was suddenly easy. I can’t say that.
I can tell you that every moment I spend with God is a blessing. Every time I sit with God I am blessed by God’s great love for me.
I can say I learned to rely on my time spent with God. During those early years when I sat quietly I came to realize that God gave me our own ‘signal’ that was tailor-made for me. I learned that when God had something to tell me I had the same feeling. I can not describe what it feels like, but after years I KNOW when God wants to tell me something.
I KNOW when God is warning me something is about to happen.
Through the years as I sat with God and I rested, the Spirit of God taught me where my true HOME is. God…Papa is my true home. God in me is home. God gave me that blessing because I needed it.
I’ve physically lived in many different kinds of places. I’ve lived in a big city, I’ve lived in a small town, and I’ve lived on a farm. To me, that’s just where my friends and family could visit me or send me mail. I learned those places were not my home. In other words, if home is where the heart is, I found it is true that God in my heart really is home.
For me, learning that took time and practice.
For those of you who found resting in God was easy to learn, I’d say you’ve been supremely blessed! I’d wonder if someone along the way quietly helped you and prayed you would have that wonderful gift!
I’ve heard it said that some of us are crock-pot learners and some of us are microwave learners. If that is true, I’d say I am definitely a crock-pot learner.
However you learn, whatever way God speaks to you and teaches you, it’s ALL good!
I love it that God has a custom and tailor-made plan for each and every one of us. We are all unique and special to God. We all have our own place in God’s heart…
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Rest in God
Rest and listen…
In God, Deborah