Obey and Take a Nap!

by A.C. Williams

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. Psalm 139:1-4 NLT

Little babies make a lot of noise when they cry, and the angrier they get, the louder they scream.

I don’t know much about babies, but I’m at the age now where all my friends have them. So I’ve had a crash course. The other night I was trying to get my best friend’s exhausted 10-month-old to sleep. It was late, and the baby was so tired. But she was having none of it.

How dare I force sleep upon her! How could I betray her in such outrageous fashion? (This is how every 10-month-old speaks, by the way.)

This fourteen-pound squishy-child full of applesauce and drama can throw her head back and squall loud enough to rattle windows. Big wet tears pour out of her eyes. Her little toothless mouth twists all up, and she just howls like the world is ending.

There was nothing wrong with her. She just didn’t want to miss out. The child desperately needed sleep, but she fought it every step of the way. All I could do was hold her and rock her and reassure her that the world would look so much better if she’d just admit how tired she was and let go.

After all, I knew better than she did.

In response, of course, she flailed and punched me right in the face and sent my glasses flying across the living room.

And then, as I was laughing at her, I felt a very pointed tap on my spiritual shoulder, and I could practically hear the Lord whisper in my ear: Now you know how I feel with you.

Ouch.

I stopped laughing at the squirmy, wiggly, bawling child in my arms and nearly started crying myself. Because, as usual, God was absolutely right.

That very day was supposed to have been my Sabbath, but I’d worked through it. Like every other adulting adult, I have deadlines. I have people who are counting on me. So I sacrificed my rest in order to do my work, which is pretty much the opposite of what God desires (Exodus 20:8).

I fight against rest as fiercely as this little baby-child does. Maybe it’s my fear of missing out. Maybe it’s my fear of letting people down. Whatever it is that keeps me working when I ought to be resting, it’s connected to fear. And I’m fairly certain that I’m not supposed to be making decisions that way (2 Timothy 1:7).

God knows me better than I know myself. He knows everything about me. He knows what I think before I think it, what I say before I say it, and what I want before I want it (Psalm 139:1-4). That means He’s the one who knows what’s best for me. So when He tells me to rest, I should rest. Not throw a tantrum. Not howl and bawl about it and fight it, like an infant who wants what she wants even if it’s bad for her.

Know what I did the very next day? I slept in. I gave myself a day to rest, and I felt better about life. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

We all need rest. Sure, there are always exceptions, but if rest weren’t supposed to be part of following Jesus (Matthew 11:28), I don’t think He’d talk about it so often.

So maybe it’s time for us all to just take a nap. Can you make space for that today? I think I will. Looming deadlines or no, I’ve learned that God values obedience more than sacrifice.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA)

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About the author: A.C. Williams is a coffee-drinking, sushi-eating, story-telling nerd who loves cats, country living, and all things Japanese. She’d rather be barefoot, and if she isn’t, her socks won’t match. An AWSA Golden Scrolls finalist and an editor at Uncommon Universes Press, she believes that God works miracles through stories. Learn more about her coaching services at www.amycwilliams.com and subscribe to her daily devotional emails at www.alwayspeachy.com. Amy is offering a special: the first seven days free, then $5/month. https://acwilliams.substack.com/arisedaily

Join the conversation. What do you plan for practicing rest on the Sabbath?

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Completely Known

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

Before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, Lord.  Psalm 139:4 CSB

I’ve heard some women say their husbands can look at them and know exactly what they’re thinking.

I envy them. To have a mind-reader husband would be quite nice.

But for most of us, no one knows what we’re thinking and feeling, until we try to express it in words, which often don’t come out quite right.

I remember the day I really understood that the Lord can enter the private area of my mind and heart – the part no one else can see – and knows exactly what I’m thinking and feeling. What a relief to be assured that I was truly known by the One who designed me and wants to be in relationship with me.

David, the psalmist, prayed, “Lord, You have searched me and known me.  You know when I sit down and when I stand up; You understand my thoughts from far away. You observe my travels and my rest; You are aware of all my ways” (Psalm 139:1-3). David goes on to say that even before he speaks, the Lord knows what he is going to say. That is intimate knowledge – so intimate that David admits it is too wonderful for him to understand.

As a child, I always expected my mom to know what I was thinking, to know when to come in my room and comfort me when I was upset. And when she didn’t, I became angry. I can tend to do the same thing to my husband today. So many times, I want him to talk with me, so I leave clues that are, in my opinion, obvious. But my husband often has other things on his mind and doesn’t pick up on my “hints.” That tends to annoy me and make me feel I’m not important enough for him to study and try to figure out.

God doesn’t need the hints, though. He already knows the condition of my heart and mind. And because He knows my thoughts, He understands me in a way no one else ever could. Better than a mother. Better than a husband. Better than a best friend. He knows me, literally, more than I even know myself. And with all that intimate knowledge, He still loves me and accepts me. Now that’s unconditional, unfathomable love.

Lord, thank You that I am completely known and, in addition to knowing all about me, You loving me more intimately than anyone else ever could. Help me to keep You first in my heart today.

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Completely Known – thoughts on #GodsLove from @CindiMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 17 books including her best-selling titles When Women Walk Alone (more than 130,000 copies sold) and When God Sees Your Tears. For more on her books and resources to improve your walk with God, your marriage, or your parenting, or for a free consultation to see if she can help you cindi mcmenamin God's Whispers to a Woman's Heartwrite your book, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Do you long to hear God’s whispers on your heart? “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Do you want to know His thoughts of you, His plans for you, His comfort and His presence? Then Cindi’s book, God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart is for you!

Join the conversation: How does knowing you are completely known (and  unconditionally loved) make a difference in your life?

God’s Got This

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

He who gives attention to the word will find good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.                                                                                                                               Proverbs 16:20 NASB

My friend, Allison, sent me a text message upon learning that her husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. I was surprised by her reaction.

“God’s got this,” she wrote.

Not a “Why him?” or “Why did God allow this?” Not even a “What if…?” She showed only an unswerving trust in the One who can handle all things.

I want that type of unquestioning faith in the face of uncertainty. Like Allison, I want to be able to think or say “God’s got this” when the unexpected or unthinkable comes my way. And I realize I have the ability to display that kind of trust in God because I’ve been given the same thing that Allison has been given: God’s trustworthy Word.

I’m encouraged that God is intimately aware of all my ways and His Word tells me that He knows my thoughts (and concerns) before I even think them (Psalm 139:1-4). That assures me He is already working on the matters that concern me most.

I’m also glad God knew that His creation would be prone to worry, and so He had the Apostle Paul address that habit of ours in Philippians 4:6-7:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (NLT).

Any time we find ourselves in a situation we can’t do anything about (which is why we worry in the first place) we can trust that God is Who He says He is, and that He can work out that situation far better than we can.

Today, when I begin to worry that God hasn’t “done something yet,” I have to remind myself that He is God. He doesn’t need my help. He doesn’t need my stress. He desires my trust. When I acknowledge that He is God, and I am not, and that His plan is always better than mine, that is when He gives me peace that guards my heart and mind.

The next time we begin to worry, we can ask ourselves “What am I believing about God that isn’t true? Do I believe He is true to His Word? Do I really believe He can take care of this?”

And when we can answer those questions with the statement “God’s got this” we can experience His peace.

Lord, help me to trust You with every ounce of my being, every day of my life  so when the unexpected or the unthinkable comes my way, I am already assured that “God’s got this.”

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No matter what…”God’s got this.” Thoughts from @CindiMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 17 books including her best-selling When Women Walk Alone (more than 130,000 copies sold), When You’re Running on Empty, When God Sees Your Tears, and Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You. For more on her books and resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, or for more information on her coaching services to help you write the book on your heart, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Join the conversation: In the last time you struggled to trust God, what incorrect belief about Him could have been influencing your heart?