I heard a story of two men who competed in an all-day wood chopping contest. One man worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The other man ate a leisurely lunch and took several breaks throughout the day.
At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had.
"I don't get it," he said. "Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did."
"But you didn't notice," said the winning woodsman, "that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest." (http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/r/rest.htm)
Today, as I thought of all the tasks I needed to do, God stopped me with this verse.
Psalm 46:10,"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." NIV
And so, I simply did what it said. I stopped. I breathed. My mind rested. Instead of focusing on all my fears, struggles, and the options demanding decisions...I focused on God's glory, His power, and His promises.
I encourage you to try it. For just a moment, stop the noise. Block out all the outside distractions. Quiet the demands pressing for your attention...And simply be still!
Go on. Take a breath. Breathe in...breathe out. Hahhhhhhhhhhhh! Now think of Who God is. Imagine Him standing before you. Imagine Him with His hands outstretched toward you.
He says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29, NIV)
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." (Isaiah 43:1-3, NIV)
As, I meditate on God's goodness, on Who He is, on His promises...my troubles seem smaller...my burdens lift...my fears subside. God is infinite. His wisdom and power surpass our greatest efforts...and in a second He does the impossible.
Join with me today; practice resting in His Presence; know He is faithful and will do what He has promised. Let's allow God to fill us again with His presence and "sharpen our ax".
Prayer: Father we know that faith follows obedience. As You speak...we will obey. Help us learn again, to simply say, here am I Lord, send me. Where you lead us we will follow. Fill us with peace, comfort, and confidence that You will work all things together for our good. If we get overwhelmed or distracted, remind us to focus on You NOT our problems. Thank You God that You can be trusted! In Jesus name we pray, amen!