The Restful Life
By Alan Mowbray –
I tend to focus on things that are life enhancing. Part of it is probably personality, but there is a real benefit and purpose behind this: it’s restful.
When life happens, it seems so easy to focus on money woes, car maintenance bills, the broken transmission on the lawnmower, children who have to be told a million times to do something, politics, politicians, the plot line of a favorite TV show, that pain in your shoulder… no. Stop. I have control in this situation.
Why are people who focus on the positive always happy, even in adversity? Are they just happy people? Are they immune to sadness? Are they incapable of taking anything seriously? Hardly. It’s because they don’t focus on the bad. They make a choice to look to positive things. And in doing so, they do not walk alone when dealing with what life hands them. They’re living what I call The Restful Life.
In the Book of Philippians, Paul writes—while in prison mind you—“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies” (Philippians 4:6-9 MESSAGE).
When your situation is at the center of your life, you open yourself up—handing over control to your emotions. Paul learned a better way—let Christ displace worry at the center of your life. He said it was wonderful living a restful life. Where did he learn this? Because Jesus said it, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:23 NKJV).
Jesus Christ is our rest. He encourages us to lay our worries, concerns, burdens, habits, and etc. at His feet. When we have a problem, it’s not time to dwell on it; it’s time to go to God.
Always. Try to make it a habit in your life.
Remember, He is your Savior, your Father and your Helpmeet. Instead of being discouraged, ask for His wisdom. Rather than ruminating on your circumstances, remind yourself of what He has done for you. In the midst of it all, thank Him for His guidance. Once the situation is resolved, don’t forget to give Him the glory and tell others about what He did for you. Always tell someone… their faith will be built up because of your successes in Him.
Here’s Jesus’ words again, this time in the Message translation. I just love this: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:23 MESSAGE).
Yeah… living the restful life. That’s my choice.
How ‘bout you?