Living with limits is the new norm at the moment. Living life with some confinement and limitation is something that we are all experiencing now. Limits on where you can go – only of it is essential, we are allowed to venture out. Limits on some essential items at the grocers – so as to have enough for everyone. To tackle what was allowed and not allowed, things were quickly categorised into essential and non-essential. It does not necessarily mean what is good and what is not but rather what is deemed essential and non-essential in the current climate.
Living with limits has inadvertently curtailed a lot of activities that can clutter our lives. In a culture that is always encouraging us towards more, keeping yourself first, to do, do, do and keep on doing. It often leads to more stuff, more clutter, more everything and yet less of what really matters.
This time has made me reflect on the gift of time that God has given us.
What do we do with that gift of time? – we often tend to fill it up with endless other things that can often be deemed as ‘non-essential’.
Essential vs non-essential.
One of the essential things that gets easily crowded out is ‘Time with God’. Let’s take a look at Genesis, God created the heavens and earth and all that is in it, what did he do after?
In genesis 1:31 we read “God saw all that He had made and it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”
After all that He did, God reflected on what he had done. Do we take the time in our day or week to regularly reflect on what we do?
To reflect on:
- Our actions- have they been in any way displeasing to God or have they been in a rut of busyness barely acknowledging Him.
- How have we used our words – did they build up rather than tear down others, did they acknowledge God aloud for all His blessings and provision or complain more, did they cry out for His help instead of lay blame.
- Our thoughts – were they filled up more with things of this world rather than an awareness of our acknowledgement of His presence and dependence on Him.
- How have we spent our time – filled with more non-essentials rather than essentials for our inner self.
One of the enemy’s weapons that we are aware he uses is to keep us too busy to take the time to reflect. When we crowd our lives with the non-essentials, we have no room left to take time to reflect. Notice I said crowd our lives with them, there is nothing wrong in doing all of things that God has blessed us with the opportunity to do but if that all we end up doing, what does that say about where our priorities lie.
Let’s get back to Genesis for a moment, after God reflected, what did he do. He rested
Genesis 2:2 “By the seventh day, God had finished the work he had been doing; so, on the seventh day he rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy. Because on it he rested from all the work of creating that He had done.”
What does it mean for us to rest?
Physically resting – There is plenty of emphasis on the importance of physically resting that is beneficial towards maintaining our physical well-being and the benefits it extends towards our mental well-being too. How much more valuable is our spiritual well-being to us and so, how much more valuable in our eyes should, being able to spiritually rest in Him for our spiritual well-being be.
There is a difference in just resting for some downtime and resting that benefits our soul which is a ‘rest without distractions’. We do rest with distractions quite easily, resting on the couch in front of the telly, scrolling on the phone or doing other mindless things that helps us unwind. There is no harm in having some of that downtime.
But by taking rest only with distractions do we fall short of God’s plan for rest?
Resting that feeds the soul will include time with Him, for your soul to connect to its maker, to receive from Him, a time of quietness to hear from Him uninterrupted. A friend once shared with me that While Reflection is more ‘Me focused’, Resting in Him is more ‘God Focused’.
A rest in Him that gives us clarity; a clarity to
- Hear His voice
- Not idolise busyness
- Avoid placing anything else before God
- Not depend on our own strength
- See His hand in all things
- Trust in Him to provide all that we need
- Sense His presence in the midst of our storms
- Rest in His peace while we wait
- Be thankful in all circumstances
Being able to rest this way is a gift from God. He has given us the beautiful gift of anytime access to Him in prayer, let’s not just squeeze Him into our clutter but clear out the clutter to focus on Him.
God has blessed each of us with the gift of time on this earth. Valuing that gift of time is essential. Yes, we each have responsibilities that use up a lot of that time but with the blessing of the number of days He has given us on this earth are we so busy crowding it with things our God gives us that we crowd Him out in the process and there is no room to reflect and rest in His blessings with gratitude and allow that to swell into worship.
We may have many resources that He provides for us but we have only one source and that is HIM.
Hopefully we are all taking the time to think on what God is teaching us at this time. May we not leave these lessons behind but imbibe them into a better and more godly way of living.
What does valuing the gift of time look like in your life? Each of us have different lives and schedules and one way to value that gift of time is to ensure to make the time to reflect and rest in Him. It might be a few minutes a day to a few hours in the week. A reflection and rest that will flow out into all of our days and allows us to carry more of God’s reflection in our lives and that shapes and realigns our hearts to prioritize what is important.