The sermon this morning was about Christian workers, or people God calls to do his work. It was taught by the lead pastor, who explained a few qualities of Christian workers:
1. They respond to Jesus’ call
2. They go in the authority Jesus gives them
3. They teach and meet the needs of people who will listen
He mentioned that being a Christian worker is not always easy because it comes with challenges. As human beings, we are limited with the amounts of money, time and energy we have. We often get distracted, and it can be hard to do Christ’s work with a strong enemy working tirelessly to defeat us. But our God is stronger, and he knows exactly what we need to complete his work. After each season of hard work, rest is necessary. Today we talked about Mark 6:30-44, and what really stood out to me was Mark 6: 30-31.
Mark 6:30-31 (ESV)
30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all they had done and taught.
31 And he said to them “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest awhile.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
In these verses we see that the apostles had just come back from doing God’s work, and Jesus was calling them to get rest. How does one effectively get rest, you ask? Our pastor broke it down for us:
1. Renew our minds and spirits
2. Energize our bodies
3. Stabilize our emotions
4. Troubleshoot, reflect and plan for re-entry
We can do these four things by getting more sleep than we usually do, eating healthily, having fun, praying, exercising, and doing some very intentional thinking and planning. From what i’ve seen personally, when God calls us to rest it’s usually because a new task is coming our way. There’s a very specific time in my life that I noticed God’s call for me to rest. At the time I didn’t realize that’s what was going on, but with reflection I’m now able to see it for what it was.
It was July of 2015 that I FINALLY got an acceptance letter into the Nursing program at school. I had spent two whole years trying to get into this competitive program. Most people would’ve given up after the first year, but I was really determined to get in. Once I did, I was more happy than words can describe. I soon found out, though, that my time in the Nursing program wouldn’t go too well. I was really excelling in the hands on aspect of my classes- the lab, where we practiced the things we were learning in lecture, and the on-site clinical in a nursing home. For some reason I wasn’t doing well in the lecture portion of the classes. I would go into each test confidently, just knowing I was going to do well.. and each time I would feel so defeated after hearing my grade. Those tests were worth so much of my overall grade that I eventually had to withdraw from the program to avoid getting a big fat F.
It probably sounds awful to you, and at the time I was distraught but looking back, I’m glad I withdrew. While I was in the program, I was absolutely miserable. I went some days without sleeping because of how much material I needed to study. I cried more than I ate. I felt like a zombie every single day. A lot of people would tell me that I seemed like a completely different person, and not in a good way, either. I always think about how much that program was changing my whole life, including my personality and it just makes me shake my head. I was having health problems and getting constant headaches. The whole nine.
It took about two weeks for me to figure out which direction I would go in next. I withdrew in the middle of the semester, so because I was mostly taking Nursing classes, I was left with only one class. I went from being 2000% overwhelmed to feeling like I had nothing to do. I eventually took that time to get back on track with God. This was my resting season, for sure. With all of that time to reflect I noticed how much I had pushed my relationship with God to the back burner (more like off of the whole stove). I let all of the Nursing craziness take more of my time than I even had to give. I barely even thought about my walk with God. I realized that I made Nursing school an idol, and that that was part of the reason I was so upset about having to withdraw from the program.
My R.E.S.T.ing period was so so necessary. It was my time to relax, reflect and renew my mind. It was within this resting period that God planted a strong desire in my heart to go on the Nicaragua mission trip, and soon after I had a new desire to teach children’s church. If I was still in the Nursing program, neither one of those things would have happened and they both mean so much to me. I am so thankful for that opportunity to R.E.S.T.