Make Frequent Stops

I was driving behind this truck with a good friend in my car and took a moment to snap this photo.  I said, “This will be a great title for my next blog!” If I have to have patience to drive behind this big truck blocking my beautiful view that could be quite frustrating.  Then I quickly thought, “if the truck needs to be make frequent stops, shouldn’t we?” Certainly we should.  For even the Word declares in Genesis 2:1-2, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.  By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing ; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work.”    If God took the seventh day to rest then in the beginning of time, that is probably a good indicator that it is also necessary for us as humans to stop frequently and take a rest as well.

We get so busy in life with full-time jobs, relationships, parenting, social networking, exercising, and so many more activities.  Even as Christians we need to take time daily for prayer, regular worship, study of the bible, church attendance, activities and fellowship.  This kind of consistent business, even though it is good for us, requires us to rest.   Sometimes it may even mean that we don’t answer the frequent phone calls, text messages and perhaps even a disconnect from social media so that we give our minds and hearts a break from life.  Is that a bad thing to just take a moment and stop engaging yourself in every activity under the sun?  No it is not.  As much as all these things are good for us it is also necessary for us to rest from it all.  If any of those things are true to us then they will still be there when we return from our rest.  It doesn’t mean we are isolating ourselves or separating forever.  It simply means we are going to make a decision to make frequent stops so that we can actually function more effectively.

To stop means to cease from, to interrupt, to discontinue, restrain and prevent from proceeding or operating. Imagine how much better we will function if we make frequent stops at everything that we do.  If we work Monday through Friday 9-5, then it should stop at 5 and the same goes for weekends.  We can make ourselves over obligated and committed to every task that comes our way.  What happens if we don’t do it?  IT CAN WAIT! Your health is the priority.  Your mind is the priority and the soundness of that mind as well.   The bible says in Ecclesiastes 8:5, “Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.  For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him.”

There are so many other bible references that help us in this area:

1 Corinthians 10:23, “Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial.  Everything is permissible but not everything is constructive.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything [includes rest] and a season for every activity under heaven.”

Ecclesiastes 12:12, “Be warned, my son of anything in addition to them.  Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.”

1 John 2:19, “This then is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence.”

Matthew 11:20, “Come to Me, all you who are weary [physically or mentally exhausted by hard work, exertion, strain, etc.;fatigued; tired] and burdened [loaded, borne with difficulty; to load oppressively] and I will give you rest.”

I had to stop at that scripture in Matthew 11…  imageI have come to a point where I allowed myself to become overwhelmed. Too many things beginning to weigh me down at once.  I was even thinking, “Who can I trust?” Not one person really, when everyone does this or that. It is so hard especially when I am going through my darkest hour.  I think I didn’t even want to go to God that is how overwhelmed I was.  I didn’t know what else to say to Him but the same thing over and over and over again.  I felt like I was being so repetitious, even in my tears. What else could I really do here?  I try to stay as strong as I can but how strong is that really?  I read my life in a book by Holley Gerth, “What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days.”

Through disappointments, circumstances not going as we planned; putting our trust in imperfect people that let us down; where nothing turns out as we expected; our heads and what happens just don’t align or match. He says “Come here. Lean on Me.  Put the full weight of your need on ME.  I can handle it.  I love you and I will not let you down.”

I need rest – the refreshing quiet or repose of sleep; refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labor; relief or freedom, especially from anything that wearies, troubles or disturbs.  Quite honestly at times, my life can be very disturbing, my mind can be disturbing, people at work can be disturbing, church folks can be disturbing, family can even get exhausting and disturbing too.  That is real talk.  That is life.  I just need some rest.  I went through too many times trying to function when I feel dysfunctional and I have to stop that!  I am tired.   Rest is good and rest helps me.  It gives me strength – God gives it to me.  I need to receive it and not reject or fight against what He is begging to give me.  Even when I make too many plans, He cancels them time and time again.  God has a different agenda for my life, to remove what I do and replace it with what He does.  He wants me to be overwhelmed with His peace and not with weariness.

I came up from prayer and heard Him whisper to me, “Your healing is here, your freedom is here, when you rest.  Yes, when you REST in My presence!”  Just like the song by Deluge, “Healing is Here.”  The bridge of the lyrics say:

Sickness can’t stay any longer
Your perfect love is casting out fear
You are the God of All Power
and it is Your will that my life be healed

That is a truth for us all.  Healing is here, right in the very presence of God.  Don’t allow yourself to become this burdened. As large as responsibilities are and just like the truck in the picture here carrying a lot of products, that requires frequent stops until the load gets lighter to run more efficiently.  Take the time to rest.  Drop the load off. Do something that you enjoy.  Close your eyes and get some rest.  Shut off your cell phone, put up a ‘do not disturb’ sign and gets some guilt-free rest!  The same way God wants you whole and healthy is the same way others will benefit more from a stabilized and controlled version of you, rather than one that is stressed out to full capacity and ready to blow up.

Give yourself permission to rest.  You don’t need permission from someone else to take a break.  God grants it to you through His Word and through His presence.  Trust and receive that gift from God.  Create a new rule for yourself that says, “I am not just going to rest when I am beyond exhausted but I am going to make it my new obligation to MAKE FREQUENT STOPS so that I can be more effective in everything else that I do.”

About Christina

Blessings to all that are viewing this. My name is Christina Cruz-Mendez. I am a Senior Pastor at Mission United International Church in Yonkers, NY working along side my husband Juan A. Mendez Jr. Senior Pastor, currently residing in Canton, Georgia. We have been together for 29 years with 2 children that God has blessed us with. Makes us the family of four - "JusChrist4". I have been a Christian and active in ministry for about 22 years now. Through all the rocky and smooth roads in life I am eternally grateful that God has brought me this far in life to share with the world what He is doing in me, through me and for me. View all posts by Christina

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