The Importance of Rest

Now that I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy with baby #2, I’m starting to realize that rest is kind of a big deal. There’s nothing like carrying around another human for 9 months while chasing a toddler to make you realize that woman does not live on caffeine alone (the Bible says that, right? :-D).

It’s not that I don’t want to rest. In theory, rest sounds GREAT.  It’s putting it into practice that is so tough. I’m a night owl by nature – I used to routinely go to bed at 2 AM until I started working a 9-5 job. Now that I work a 24 hour job (#momlife), I frequently find myself up at strange hours due to insomnia, a crying child, or street noise.

night-owls-can-i-get-a-hoot-

Anyway, today, I read the story of Jesus calming the storm in the children’s Bible we have for our toddler. Here’s the version from Mark 4:35-41:

Jesus Calms the Storm

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, Quiet! Be still! Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

For whatever reason, it just hit me funny that Jesus was straight up sleeping in the middle of a storm that made a bunch of experienced fishermen think they were going to die. I’m guessing the disciples had seen their fair share of bad storms, but here we see next-level wind and waves. I’m envisioning something out of movies like “The Perfect Storm”, “Deep Impact”, or that awful Russell Crowe version of “Noah”. Don’t waste your time. It’s horrible.

Perfect Storm Movie Poster Noah Movie Poster

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that dramatic, but you get what I’m saying. It was scary!

First off, I envy the fact that Jesus is such a deep sleeper. Where can I get some of that quality shut-eye?!

Secondly, when would He have woken up? It says the waves were crashing over the boat so it almost swamped. You’d think the water splashing on Him would have woken Him up, right?

Thirdly…those disciples (shaking my head over here). Can I just say, I love whenever the disciples appear in scripture. They give voice to everything I feel and would probably be thinking myself in these crazy situations with Jesus. Frequently, they play the role of “Captain Obvious” or the ancient near east equivalent of The Three Stooges. I love their comment: “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

Well said, disciples. Well said. That’s a question I’ve definitely brought before the Lord on MANY occasions. It’s not always phrased like that, but the sentiment is the same.

“Don’t you care about me?”

Maybe you can identify with some of these variants of the same question:

Don’t you care that…

    • ….I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in over two years? 
    • …I’m overworked, overtired, and at the end of my rope?
    • …my loved one isn’t well and is dying?
    • ….this storm of life is swirling around me and I’m going to drown?

Notice what Jesus does next. 

He first deals with the storm.

Then, He addresses the disciples’ lack of faith.

Jesus is not disturbed by our storms. He can sleep and rest right through them, because He is fully in control of the wind and the waves.

When we cry out to God in our storms, He addresses the things that are paining us first. Then He helps us work on our faith.

We could have been resting that whole time in the boat instead of panicking about drowning! Why aren’t we doing just that? Why aren’t we letting Jesus rebuke the wind and waves for us?

Lift up a prayer to God about this today. If you don’t know what to say, here’s something to get you started…

Father God, teach me to trust you and to rest confidently and securely in you. Remind me that the wind and waves recognize your voice and submit to you. Help me to submit to you also. Help me enter that deep, wonderful rest that Jesus enjoyed. I thank you that you allow me to witness you calming the storms of my life each and every day. You are good!

Special Note: Since baby girl is due very, very soon, the next few posts will be a bit lighter than usual. But lighter doesn’t mean lesser! Check back in for a good laugh this Wednesday and some of my other favorite things in coming posts. Catch you on the flip side!

Coming up:

Wednesday: Wild Card Wednesday!

Next Sunday: These are a Few of My Favorite Things

 

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2021: The Jubilant Garden

Hi! I’m glad you’re here! Welcome to The Jubilant Gardener blog. I’m Stephanie – AKA the Jubilant Gardener. I’m an avid gardener, lover of all things meme-related, and Christ-follower. My goal with this blog is to interject some gardening knowledge, a good laugh, and little bit of Jesus into your week. But more on that later! First, let’s talk a little bit about why I’m starting this blog.

Last year was a mess, wasn’t it? I think we can all safely say that 2020 was probably a low point in most of our lives. Who would have thought we’d ever see this in our lifetimes? A raging pandemic, civil unrest, a run on toilet paper. You know life has hit an all-time low when you start Googling bidets (though to be fair, I’ve tried one before and it wasn’t half bad!). Luckily for us, the good people at Charmin had the foresight of making mega rolls – a true miracle if ever there was one. A double-miracle is this wonderfully seductive pose of Lionel Richie and his favorite TP, summing up the struggle of the past year:

Funny Toilet Paper Shortage Memes - Funtastic Life

But that’s not the way 2021 is going to go. I’m calling it… this is the YEAR OF JUBILEE!

I’m not talking about Queen Elizabeth II (though, fun fact, her Platinum Jubilee is scheduled for 2022. Mark your calendars!). I’m talking about a year of good things in Biblical proportions. Why not? Last year was a year of horrible things IN BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS. Let’s not forget the time hurricanes had to be named using the Greek alphabet BECAUSE WE HAD SO MANY STORMS WE RAN OUT OF LETTERS IN THE ALPHABET. 

hurricane Memes & GIFs - Imgflip

Yes, people. This is the Year of Jubilee. 

A Jubilee is:

    1. a special anniversary of an event, especially one celebrating twenty-five or fifty years of a reign or activity.

Also, it’s:

    1. (of desserts) flambé.

Desserts? A celebration? Both great in my book.

 

Beyond our cultural understanding of Jubilee, there’s also the original Biblical Jubilee, which is:

    1. The 50th year at the end of 7 cycles of 7 years.
    2. A Sabbath year, set apart as holy
    3. A year of no planting, no storing of harvests, no grape gathering (random, am I right?)
    4. A year of eating whatever the land produces on its own
    5. A year of returning to the land that belonged to your ancestors
    6. A year of resetting property rights and deeds
    7. A year of redeeming the poor and enslaved

Interestingly, the Bible cites these results if we observe the Jubilee:

    1. Living securely in the land (yay!)
    2. A huge yield of crops (double yay!)
    3. Eating our fill (I think I can really get behind this)
    4. A blessing in the 6th year leading up to the 7th year (Jubilee year) to have enough food for THREE YEARS (say WHAT?!)

I don’t know about you, but I could really use a Sabbath year right about now. My soul needs the rest and the joy of just being. Not striving.

And that’s why I’m also giving our amazingly productive garden a Jubilee year, too. No planting, just living off the abundance and letting the land rest. There are treasures to be found in the wild garden – plants that make their way through this harsh world on their own, mini-ecosystems that need absolutely no intervention from us to thrive (in fact, probably do better without us!), and mysteries and miracles in the natural world for us to discover. So that’s what I plan to share with you through this blog – that the untended garden has lessons for all of us, both practically and spiritually. We just have to sit still long enough to look for them.

Peppered in with this year’s wild garden observations, I’ll share photos, tutorials, tips, tricks, LOTS of failures, and even some successes from my garden (every Wednesday) and devotionals (every Sunday). No matter your background with gardening or faith, there’s a place for you here. I hope you’ll join in with me as we explore what it means to be a Jubilant Gardener!

 

Coming up on Wednesday: Where to Start? Nursery Transplants vs Direct Sowing vs Indoor Seed Starting

And Next Sunday: How to Achieve Your Goals This Year + My Goals for 2021

 

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