It’s counter culture, at least in western culture, to slow down and let God direct the pace. I suggest the old adage “Pray like it all depends on God, but work like it all depends on you” is an oxymoron and isn’t supported by the Word or the Spirit. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 CJB. As we say in Southeast Louisiana, “Let me told you a story.”
Mowing the lawn during the summer months in Southeast Louisiana is a never ending task. Because of the humidity and high water table, grass grows even when it hasn’t rained for several days. We’re at a time of year when you have to mow every 3-5 days or your yard begins to look like a jungle. Weed eating is a must at our place. We have lots of areas the mower is ineffective like brick walls, concrete pavers, a fire hydrant, and a rod iron fence etc… I use the type of weed eater head that uses an 18 inch piece of line that you replace when it’s worn down. Normally I run the weed eater at full throttle and tear through several pieces of line manicuring our yard, which means lots of stopping and rethreading. That is, until today.
Today I had the idea I should use a slower speed around the more difficult sections of our yard and let the machine do the work. Guess what? I only used 2 pieces of line and one of them wasn’t fresh, and I did the job in less than half the usual time.
Clearly the idea to slow down came from the Lord, and as I went about this mundane task He was speaking to me about slowing down in other areas of my life. By nature I am a wide open guy. I look at challenges and obstacles with a “let’s get er done” full steam ahead attitude. This can be taxing and at the end of the day I, more often than not, feel tired and wore out. This is not healthy nor is it what God requires of us.
I personally know two ministers who had a similar type of personality and both depleted their adrenal gland. It took months before they could return to a normal schedule, and now they have a slower pace and accomplish more for God than ever before. One of them now teaches how to avoid adrenal fatigue through healthy living and quality time with the Lord.
In Mark 6, Jesus sees the disciples struggling against the wind as they row their boat across the lake. Part of verse 48 is often translated that Jesus came to them “but intended to pass them by”, but according to the Complete Jewish Bible it says, “He meant to come alongside them…” This gives us whole new perspective on this passage of scripture. This is more of a Hebrew translation and paints a clearer picture in that it teaches us that Jesus doesn’t intend for us to struggle, he intends to come along side of us: to get in the boat with us and bring peace to our situations. But like the disciples in this passage we all too often see the spiritual answer to our circumstances as spooky and we become fearful. I once heard it said that “the very thing we are afraid of is often the very thing that will save us.” Some people may be afraid of what others will think if they apply a spiritual solution to a natural situation. I chose to fear God rather than man.
Man will tell you to strive and drive while Jesus says “come and rest.” I’m sure some will misinterpret what I am suggesting as being lazy, and that’s not what I am advocating. I am saying that if we pray like it all depends on God then let’s rest like it all depends on God. My experience with the weed eater was just a reminder of what the Lord has been teaching me over the last several months. That is to rest in Him. As Cindi and I have put this into practice we have witnessed amazing results in our personal lives and in the life of this ministry. I encourage you to follow Jesus and not the world. Slow down and learn to rest in Him and hear His voice. He’ll even mow the lawn with you. He’s amazing and so are you.