This week I have been struggling with breathing. What I thought was a weather-related cold turned out to be bronchitis. It was scary to realize if we didn’t get a handle on it, this could be more serious. I hate being sick! I am generally not doing nothing. Everyone has a relax and chill day, but for a couple of days? Oh my!

We have a winter quilt for our bed that says precisely what I need to be reminded of — “Be Still and Know.” There are times that all we can do is rest. At those times, we have to remember that rest is not doing anything; it is doing something. It gives the body time to heal. God knew that the rest would be essential to us. We know, through from the beginning, that God required obedience to rest. Boy, this goes against our American pull yourself up by your bootstraps world. It also goes against sayings many of us have heard since we were children. Things like:

The early bird gets the room. (Work early, right!? Long days, right!?)

Another day, another dollar.

Be the first in the field and the last to the couch.

Chop your own wood: it will keep you warm twice.

He that waits on fortune is never sure of dinner.

If you want something done right, do it yourself.

Make hay while the sun lasts.

Never put off tomorrow what can be done today.

These are just some we have heard said to us that shaped who we are! It makes it hard for many of us to take rest without guilt.

Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Genesis 2:2-3 “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because, on it, he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

Mark 6:31 “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Psalm 4:8 “ In peace, I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.”

Exodus 33: 14, “The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

And of course:

Psalm 23, “The LORD is my shepherd; I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

We see here numerous scriptures that encourage us to rest. I want to be restored. I want to be well. I am clinging to these verses. I am sticking to believing in the healing power of the Lord, medicine, and doctors. Maybe you are struggling today with illness. Perhaps you are struggling to wait for an answer from someone, even God. Maybe you are just struggling with all the choices you have to make daily. Whatever you are waiting for sit in the wait clinging to the Lord. Use these scriptures to remind you, you are not alone.

The Rev. Tracey Zimmerman serves at Fremont United Methodist Church and Nevada Mills United Methodist Church

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