I rested and got a lot of work done!
And my first trimester comes to an end! I can feel a slight bump in my belly. This is supposed to be the most critical stage in pregnancy, since the baby went from a single zygote to become a full-grown fetus – that’s a lot of work like the dawn of creation – my body overworked these last three months to ensure the healthy development of my baby.
My baby looks more human now and is fully formed! The circulatory and urinary systems are working and my tiny baby has a tiny liver producing bile. Even the reproductive organs are formed. What a miracle!
And all I did to help in this process was REST. I was advised and allowed to rest as much as possible, taking naps not more than half or one hour in the day. I was asked to walk, but nothing rigorous – no heavy exercises. When I first called my pastor’s wife Priscilla, she was so excited to hear the news that I’m pregnant. And her first words were, “Rest, these three months, just operate from rest, and you will be totally fine.”
My body literally worked overtime all these three months, pumping double the blood. And the best way I could allow this supernatural process to take place was to rest -physically and spiritually. Imagine working from rest! We are normally used to working and then resting, but what if we worked from rest – from a mindset of rest, a mindset of Sabbath!
Working from Rest?
God’s way has always been for us to work from rest. That’s why he made the evening and the morning, the first day. Evening came first – you ate and drank and rested, and then woke up to go to work – you worked from rest! And even the Sabbath was instituted so we can learn to deliberately put our body and mind to rest, and that would not only rejuvenate us for the coming week, but also taught us to completely rely on God to provide. The Israelites would not even pick grain from the field during the Sabbath, but trust God that He would provide enough. For people who have been slaves for 400 years, it is hard to just ‘rest’ – the only way they got food was work, and now God tells them to stop working for one full year. Every 7 years was also a rest for the land! Imagine, as a farmer, you can’t touch your field for one full year.
For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4 But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5 Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. 6 Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, 7 as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten. (Lev 25:4-7)
Check out verse 20-22:
You may ask, “What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops?” 21 I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. 22 While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in.
Wow! Can you imagine that – in the sixth year, getting enough crop to survive for the seventh and eighth year?!! Seems so impossible, and our God is the God of the Impossible!
Who is the Source?
When you believe that Christ is the source of your prosperity, your health, your well-being, your success and your happiness, it lifts a very heavy burden off of you – that you are not the source, you are the recipient. It is definitely less strenuous to receive, than to constantly strive and struggle. So now, my focus is not on my performance, but on unrelenting faith in God who provides, God who heals, God who delivers, God who supplies!
Consider this: if I think I am the source of my good health, then I will work really hard and hit the gym, maintain my diet, have an active lifestyle, etc. What if I fall sick or have to work on a project and I’m unable to do all these, say for a month? Imagine the kind of stress and trauma my mind will go through – because now fear sets in, and since I think my health is dependent on me alone, the moment I fail in my performance, I start to panic, expecting the worst to happen, and what I fear the most comes upon me – because fear really attracts the powers of hell like nothing else does – like flies to decay.
I’m not against physical exercise and healthy eating – I’m against the thinking that puts pressure on me that I am the source of my health, because I am not. Jesus made it clear – I am your healer! (Ex 15:26)
I need to operate from a mindset of rest: resting in the person of Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. His finished work tells me what is really finished, so I don’t have to work to earn it, but I use active faith to receive it. His finished work tells me what is mine: forgiveness, eternal redemption, health, prosperity, joy, peace, righteousness! So, now I don’t struggle to earn health, or earn my future, with my own hard work, but I learn to partner with God and receive what is already mine.
Beloved, this is what will free you from anxiety!
Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fallor perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell]. (Heb 4:11)
The only time you are asked to exert yourself is to enter into this rest – it’s talking about renewing the mind to understand and operate from a place of rest. That’s how unbelief goes out of the door – as you renew your mind with God’s word.
- My hard work, my earnings, my savings, my investments is not what makes me rich – but the blessing of the Lord makes me rich, and adds no sorrow with it (Prov 10:22)
- My striving and struggling to maintain my good health by following strict diet and exercise regime is not what brings health to my body – Jesus, the Living Word is the Source (I Peter 2:224; Prov 4:21-22, Psalm 107:20)
- Trying to make myself happy by granting all my desires does not bring me joy; but it is a fruit of the Spirit, and again I receive it just by abiding in the Vine! (Gal 5:22)
- I don’t peace by chasing it, by going to spas or vacations, or endless mind games – peace is a gift from God; I freely receive! (John 14:27)
- My baby is growing healthily not because I am stressing myself out by worrying in pregnancy; but my simply trusting him that …
His eyes saw it’s unformed body
And when the baby was woven in the place of darkness, that no machine could scan or see ..
my baby’s frame was not hidden from You,
While being formed in secret and intricately and curiously wrought (as if embroidered with various colors)
For You did form my baby’s inward parts;
You did knit my baby together in my womb.
My baby is fearfully and wonderfully made.
My inner self knows right well.
And I will REST in knowing that YOU are at work in and through me, always!
(Psalms 139:13-16 paraphrased)