Monday, December 2, 2019

Psalm 68 and the Long Winter's Nap

"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our Salvation!" 

Psalm 68:19 KJV

"Blessed be Adonai! Every day he bears our burden, does God our salvation." 

Psalm 68:19 CJB*

This verse is translated differently, depending on the version of the Bible you read; but whether He is loading us with benefits or bearing our burdens, one things is certain: God is continuously taking care of us. 

As I enter into this year's December, I find that God is introducing a way in which he wants me to approach this season. The theme of "reflection" has been the topic of several articles and memes lately. 

I've spent a lot of time at home this season as I've dealt with multiple rounds of debilitating sickness. I've had a lot of time to rest--well, as much as a mother of nine can reasonably expect to have. However, I'm very much feeling a draw to spend time in quiet reflection...thinking on the things of Philippians 4:8, meditating on my God who fills me with blessings and lifts off my burdens. 

In the winter, animals hibernate, insects diapause, plants go dormant. What do humans do? We continue to hustle and bustle and stress and mess and make ourselves silly, old, and frowny!

This season, I'm choosing a sabbath---a sabbatical---a long winter's nap. I'm choosing to surround myself with things that bring peace and to separate myself, as much as it depends on me, from the things that bring stress.

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." 

Romans 12:2 NKJV

To be effective ministers, mentors, and moms, we must have this time of meditating on the Word and on the Lord and letting Him renew our strength, peace, and sense of purpose. We must give Him our burdens and allow Him to "load us with benefits." I read that and think of a reloadable gift card loaded up with beneficial cash or credit. What do we do with that card? At the appointed time, when we venture out, we spend it. The Christian who desires to minister doesn't need to be afraid that taking "time off" will cause the ministry to lose ground---whether it be something at home like homeschooling, or something outside the home like women's ministry or a weekly group study. It's actually the opposite. As we spend time being renewed and rejuvenated, we find that God is loading us up with lots of good things that can be spent on others at the appointed time.

May this season be a time of rest and reflection for you and those you minister to!

*The CJB is the Complete Jewish Study Bible, a valuable and fun cross-reference I've recently discovered.

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