It is Not Selfish
“We need to realize that in all things our first duty and responsibility is to God Himself.” Harry Ironside
As I mentioned in the January newsletter, the wonderful thing about a new year is it allows us to not only meditate on the past year but also look to the future. As you reflect on your past year, what feelings come to mind or overwhelm you? Is it joy, bliss, contentment, uncertainty, loss of inspiration, or a feeling of being overworked? The year always ends in a flurry of holidays, family visits, and overindulgence, so when the New Year starts, our souls often cry out for a break.
Psalm 91:1 tells us, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Why do we feel selfish if we take a step back from our busy and demanding lives, when Scripture constantly reminds us of the peace God wishes to bestow on His people?
Take a second to think about all the times you’ve been on an airplane. As the flight attendants present safety features you have probably heard more times than you can count, you suddenly hear them say profound words like, “In the event of a emergency, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you…. If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask first, and then assist the other person.” Again, it may seem selfish to save yourself in a moment such as this, but let’s think about it in a different way: What help can you be to those around you, if you do not first take care of yourself?
The Scriptures inform us that as Christians we must help restore others, but we must also watch ourselves. God’s heart is for His people, His creation. Our responsibility, as Harry Ironside reminds us, is to our Lord and therefore to serve others. If we are so focused on our busy day-to-day lives, we won’t find the rest and peace to first restore our own soul and then to restore others.
King David, the ruler over an entire nation, understood the idea of rest more than anyone. 2 Samuel 7:1 states, “After the king was settled in his palace, the Lord [gave] him rest from all his enemies.” Do you know what happened after this time of rest? The Lord made a covenant with David – his offspring would establish the Lord’s house, and the Lord’s love would never be taken from David, his house, or his kingdom.
It is not selfish to rest. In fact, God rewards a peaceful spirit. We are made up of three parts: body, soul, and spirit. There is only so long that our three parts can function without rest.
I encourage you today and this year to take the time to focus on yourself and find rest. The kingdom of God needs you!