Tag Archives: Genesis 2

More than a Nap

Rest does not come easy for me. I can sit or lie down or even collapse into the bliss of the softest of billowing pillows and I’m like the kid whose mom punishes her by sitting her on the sofa, to which the little girl replies, “I’m sitting down on the outside, but on the inside I’m jumping on your couch.” That’s me in a nutshell. I may be lying down on the outside but on the inside I’m jumping on the bed, or strategizing ministry plans, or ciphering how I can make life work. My mind refuses to take a nap. It’s a rebellious little critter to say the least!

I know I need rest. I’m much more conscience of that post heart attack. I’m trying hard to prioritize life and in the process of that I discover that my biggest issues do not come from without, they come from within. So when I read Genesis 2:2

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

We know that God is all powerful, that He does not sleep. He does not grow weary, so why would He rest? It must have been important to even the Creator and yet I cannot seem to find the mindset for it in my life. This is a conversation that I had with my husband David as we laid down in  bed last night. He was so tired. He’d worked all day, he’d left work and went straight to the fire department for their weekly meeting and didn’t get home until after 8 p.m. I too had had a busy day cleaning house and ministering in music at the nursing home. I followed that with another meeting with friends. All of which are joyous times but they tired me out. As I lay in bed my heart was not comfortable and I told David, “We need to learn to rest better, it’s not about taking a nap.”

It’s truthfully about catching my breath. That hasn’t been easy for me the last few weeks, literally. The fluid around my lungs has caused me to labor to breathe when it’s humid or I over exert myself. It’s much better now, but I still struggle on some days. I have to remember that yesterday was only my one month anniversary of my open heart surgery, because I feel great most of the time; which is deceiving to my body that says, “Slow down, catch your breath!”

I recently heard a preacher describe God’s “rest” as breathing in. He had spent 6 days breathing out. He had spoken the world into existence, He had breathed life into humankind and on the seventh day I could honestly imagine God taking a deep breath in and sitting in His easy chair to “rest.” He no longer needed to think about what cows and hippopotamuses would look like, or how deep the rivers and oceans would be. His formation of Adam and Eve was “very good.” And now He could just watch.  Not think about it, just watch.

Yesterday I returned to the room of a Nursing Home resident who makes no bones about the fact that she is heading to Hell. But she’s still not ready to be saved. Before I left she confessed she’d been “thinking about it.” Glory to God! That’s progress. I could breathe out a little when I left her room; leaving her in God’s hands and asking Him to keep her on this earth until I return to witness again. Those type of life issues I can release to God much easier than the mundane problems of my own. Those things that I actually think I have control over. I want to rehash my own sin and failures, complain about the condition of the hearts of people and focus on things of virtually no eternal significance. David focuses on the failures of politicians, the lack of volunteerism, the waste of government money, and all things out of his control. He and I are quite the pair.

So I made him promise me that on his upcoming bike trip with his buddies that he would not think on those things of a negative sort.

Philippians 4:8 tell us

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Just breathe.

Now to obey that rule myself.

God took 24 hours and did nothing. He did not create or instruct or do the things God had done for the previous six days.

This causes me to question what my 24 hours of rest would look like if I didn’t do the things that I do the other six days of the week. I’m not speaking of Sunday, because I’m a minister of the Gospel so there is a work to be done. I speak of another committed 24 hours. A day where I would not write, draw, speak or sing for the ministry’s sake. I would just breathe and watch and listen. No worrying about souls. Trusting them to God who is far better at caring for them than me.

Perhaps your 6 days is filled with a job in the secular world, or children that must be cared for all seven days. If it’s a job, commit to taking NO thought of it or anything else that causes you to breathe hard for 24 hours. Consider it a stress fast. If it’s children, try to prepare ahead to spend the day watching and enjoying what you created. Make it a cold cereal and sandwich day with ice cream sundaes for dessert. And laugh. A lot! It’s not about taking a nap. It’s about catching your breath. And it’s about making a weekly practice of it.

If it was important for God to do it, why would we even consider not doing it?

It began and ended in the Garden

chick garden

It was formed at creation; a place of splendor and beauty that we cannot possibly fathom. As beautiful as creation is now it still has thorns, mud and dying foliage, but that was not the case in the first garden. It had not rained so there would not have been mud, only perfect conditions for which to run and frolic in delight in that perfectly wonderful place… until we botched it through sin.  My stomach twists and turns as I think about Satan slithering his way through God’s exquisite creation to make his way to Eve, where his pleas would not fall on deaf ears but rather his wicked seeds of doubt would take root in her soul and forever change the garden.

Genesis 2:8, Genesis 2:9

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Eve traded Paradise for misguided perception.

The scripture says that Jesus and His disciples often resorted to a garden with His disciples. There is no doubt that He knew the garden of Creation and Gathsemane at the time it was created, long before sin had taken its effect on the land and before Satan’s ways had slithered into the heart of every man.

John 18:1-2

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

Another betrayal in the garden. In a place where Jesus had sought to find rest with His friends, and was perhaps a place where He had expounded the truth to His disciples many times, including Judas; it would be that place Judas would seal the deal with the Devil. Another poor choice by the creation that God loved. It was in this garden that Christ cried out to His Father to let the cup pass if there would be any other way, but there was not. The coming days would be filled with betrayal to the extreme when the world would turn their back on Him, He Who created them… loved them… and died for them.

But then the final garden in the story.

John 19:40-42

Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

As only Christ can do, it would come full circle in the garden! What Satan had intended to steal in the first garden, he was sure he had finally accomplished it in the third. But in the third garden, on the third day Jesus would prove victorious and in a twist of irony He was mistaken as the gardener by the women at the tomb.

John 20:15

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

The original Gardener. He Who had sown every seed in that glorious Garden of Eden, Who was there betrayed, had conquered every sin from the original to the end. Glory Hallelujah! Our Messiah. I’m so grateful for the Master Gardener… were it not for that empty tomb I would not stand redeemed and have peace in my soul that it so needful in this world of woe.

It was nice to find the gardens this morning in His word. I pray you find a little of your own to steal away and spend time with the Savior, be it in the garden, a coffee shop or a front porch swing.