Updated: Feb 21
In recent months I have learnt once again, the almost lost art of being in the moment. In this high-tech world of gadgets and social media frenzy, somehow you can end up being disconnected from all that God has given to you as a gift.
I am not talking about cars, houses, careers or talents. I am talking about life and the work of His hands. I am talking about the hues of blue in the sky above and the glistening of the ocean with hot sand running through my fingers or watching the excitement on my granddaughters’ faces as they discover new things about this amazing world we live in. What rest it brings to just 'be' in God's presence.
It’s a cooling wind breathing on my skin after a hot summer’s day or a bolt from the blue reminding me that God is sovereign and that His power is unfathomable and His actions and/or judgements are swift and unexpected. It’s a moment where I am swimming in the water hearing nothing but the air that God has placed in my lungs for which without, I would die within a minute or two. How humbling it is to know the frailty of life.
Psalm 8 reminds us to ponder and marvel at the work of His fingers.
Psalm 8:1, 3-6 ‘O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers…the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet...’
When you see a beautiful vessel, the potter is given all the glory and praise. My appreciation of the work of His hands results in an attitude of praise and awe. I look around and see the vibrancy of creation and life. I see the Master’s hand that reflects His majesty and I am truly amazed and thankful. Yet this is only a shadow of the things to come when compared with eternity.
What can steal away our rest?
When our life is filled with worldly causes and pursuits, it brings unwanted anxiety and distractions.
It’s amazing how you hear from God when you are at rest and not anxious.
One of my favourite verses is Matthew 6:34: ‘Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’
It is a great temptation to fall into the trap of feeling the need to have tomorrow all mapped out, trying to guess what God may do in your situation or in the lives of others. Many are worried about relationships, friendships, jobs, houses, careers, health concerns or decisions they must make. However, the truth is this – God has tomorrow taken care of so be present today.
There is a great reward for the saint who can rest in Jesus today and simply be present. There is great joy and freedom to be found in this place. Let’s call this nice place, ‘Faith Island’. Faith Island is a place where joy and peace are experienced, even when a tropical storm is approaching, or is upon you.
Faith Island is where your heavy luggage is taken from you upon arrival and rest begins immediately. This island is on the other side of the world from 'Doubt Island'. On Doubt Island you carry your own luggage every moment of the day and even when you put it down briefly, you worry and pick it up again.
Hebrews reminds us that, ‘without faith, it is impossible to please Him’ (Hebrews 11:6) so if we find ourselves on this sad and lonely island, we can draw near to Him who is able to comfort and restore us to wholeness.
Stop and look at your loved ones. Watch the colourful butterfly that sits on the lush green leaf and breathe the rich, oxygenated air that God has placed there to give you life. But all this doesn’t exist purely for enjoyment's sake. All this exists primarily that it would draw us closer to the potter who sculptured with His very own hands this fine exhibition on display before us.
When you are in the moment, filled and overflowing with His rest, you will not miss an opportunity to minister to others and give richly of the wealth He has so graciously poured upon you.
Whatever island you find yourself on, I encourage you to pray, read the Word and reflect upon His goodness – thanking Him for all He has done. Drawing near to Him is truly the recipe of joy and peace.
-- By Judah Ayling