Good morning, Five Minute Families. We are Jim and Kim Nestle with Clear View Retreat. Our prayer for families is that they will draw closer to the Lord and build strong relationships with one another. One way we do that is by sharing some of what we share here at CVR with you through our short weekly devotional. So, let’s get started. Do you feel lazy when you sit down on the couch and stream two or three episodes of your favorite show? Do you have trouble relaxing and not thinking of the project waiting to be completed?
Proverbs 6:6-11 says, “Go to the ant, you slacker (you sluggard, you lazybones)! Observe its ways and become wise. Without leader, administrator, or ruler, it prepares its provisions in summer; it gathers its food during harvest. How long will you stay in bed, you slacker? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest, and your poverty will come like a robber, your need, like a bandit.” Sometimes, we take a perfectly valid verse, or two or three, and we beat ourselves up with it. If I weren’t so lazy, I’d have gotten more done. Oh no, I never nap; I have things to do.
The reality is that this earthly life requires finding balance. A married person must find the balance between properly serving God and serving the family God brought to him or her. A parent must balance the needs for discipline and possible punishment with grace and mercy.
And, on both an individual and family level we must find balance in rest and activity. Not all activity is productive and not all rest is laziness. We must become wise as the ant. We must work toward our God-given goals. We cannot become lazy and wonder why the lawn looks like a jungle or the car is covered in pollen and dirt.
Still, God rested and he instructed us to rest, too. Exodus 23:12 “Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed.”
Let’s not forget:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him
A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”
Families, ask yourselves:
- Are we using our time wisely for God’s kingdom? Do we have a routine or plan that works to build God’s people, our community, and our families?
- Are we resting enough? Do we value rest and sleep as we should? Do we allow ourselves downtime for rebuilding our bodies, hearts, and minds?
- Are we doing something, anything, in order to feel busy for Christ? Are we volunteering just because there is a need even though we are stretched thin as individuals or as a family?
- Are we committing our time to include quiet moments with God? Do we order our days to allow each person to have time with the Lord? Do we remember that one person may carve out time in the morning while another family member chooses to read God’s word before bed?
- Are we allowing each family member to move at their individual pace as their health and well-being call for? Do we fully realize and reflect the physical differences we each have, or are we pushing ourselves or someone in the family beyond their healthy limit?
It’s been a question-filled five-minute family. Take time to reflect on one or two of those questions. Ask God to give you a verse – in context and in balance – for you and your family to meditate on. Don’t use God’s word to shame or diminish you. You use God’s word to uplift and challenge you. His burden is light. He will give us rest, not just our eternal rest in his presence, but rest in this earthly life, too. Be blessed!