Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Lesson from My Grandfather's Chair

Life contains a variety of stress-inducing situations.  As we advance in age we encounter more layers of problems: friends battling serious illnesses, school choices for children, financial pressures, work duties, unmet expectations, time demands, problems in society, aging parents - and the list goes on.

Sometimes it makes us look back longingly at the days when the great stress moments were over matters such as what toy we would spend our money on at Toys R Us.

Lately it seems I have had a lot of situations swirling around me with the potential of creating a fretful, worrisome spirit.  Yesterday in my Bible reading I meditated on a verse from 2 Chronicles 14.  King Asa of Judah faced on attack from the king of Ethiopia.  As any godly leader should in troubled times, the Bible says that Asa cried out to the Lord his God, and said, “Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!” (11) 

The phrase that spoke to my spirit was "we rest on You."

The very next verse says, So the LORD struck the Ethiopians before Asa and Judah, and the Ethiopians fled (12).

In this Old Testament battle, there was a direct correlation between Asa's crying out to the Lord and resting on Him and the Lord intervening in the troublesome situation.

At home in my office I have a comfortable easy chair that belonged to my grandfather.  Many times when I use it I can see him sitting in it at his spot in the den.  This year it has become my "prayer chair," and at times during the day when I stop to pray and meditate on Scripture, I often move to that chair.

Sitting in a recliner feels very different than sitting in our hard wooden dining room chairs.  My prayer chair is soft, cozy, and comfortable.  In the dining room I sit up to eat and talk.  In the prayer chair, I rest. I cease.  I relax.  And as I begin to do so physically, I also begin to assume that posture spiritually.

To rest on the Lord means that I stop trusting myself, I let go of my agenda, I cease from attempting to be my own Savior and Strength.  Instead I stop, surrender, stand on His promises, and rest on Him.

Here are 7 ways to rest on the Lord . . .

1.  Choose to praise Him.  Read one of the praise psalms (144-150 for example) and use that as a praise-instigator.

2.  Take time to thank Him for specific blessings.

3.  Sing (yes, out-loud) a praise song or hymn to Him.  I keep a hymnal handy.

4.  Read a portion of a biography of a great Christian.  Think about just one or two aspects of how that person trusted God.

5.  Be quiet and still.  Make your mind "be still and know that He is God."  Don't let the problems crowd out your concentration on Him.

6.  Take a walk around the block or track with your ipod.  Listen to praise music or a sermon by a faithful preacher or teacher.

7.  Remind yourself of one or two ways that God has come through for you in the past.  Reviewing the past helps us have confidence to trust Him today.

Lord, just as I rest my body into that warm, soft recliner, help me to rest on You today, trusting You for today and for my tomorrows.

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