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It’s been an exhausting week.  Stress on every front.  Early mornings, late nights.  Still so much to do.

Sunday morning arrives.  Church.  Agh!  Not another thing!

I’ll give it a miss this week. 

I admit that it’s hard for someone who has been a minister for years to identify with that scenario completely because I have to be at church!  Still, I do know that wrung out feeling to some extent.  You crave some down time, like a thirsty person craves water.  The gentle challenge I’m about to write is offered with the sincere intention of lifting pressure, not adding it. 

Getting to church is an act of trust in God.  On the one hand, when life is busy, church seems like the irredeemable loss of two potentially fruitful hours.  On the other hand, when you’re exhausted, getting there seems like energy over-spend during the perfect opportunity to recharge.   

Yet God calls his children together weekly.  He does so for his glory and for our good.  He is glorified in our faith when we entrust our busyness to him enough to set it aside for a while.  He is glorified in the faith that trusts his capacity to refresh enough to override our instinct to collapse in a heap. In glorifying him, we promote our own good.  Making weekly church – as well as daily Bible reading and prayer – a priority, will ease the pressure elsewhere.  It’s ironic that for the sake of rest we forego what truly gives rest.      

It’s the spiritual equivalent of the woodcutter who wouldn’t sharpen his saw.  Do you know the story?  A wood cutter in the forest is sawing against the deadline of darkness.  An observer suggests he stops to sharpen the saw and to rest.  But he feels he can’t stop.  He furiously applies more pressure but cuts less effectively,

Wisdom stops to sharpen the saw.  It’s always easy for the observer to see.  But it’s the woodsman who would benefit most.          

 


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