I decided to hire a cleaning service. I’ve been giving my joy away in exchange for a list of never-ending chores. Something had to give. God has been showing me in Psalm 23 He designed me to live with the overflowing cup of His presence, not an overfilled plate of work.
For years I’ve looked at Psalm 23, where it says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures…he restores my soul,” and I waited for Him to make me rest and restore me. Then I looked at this Psalm from different translations. “He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love (v 2, TPT).” In another, “He provides me rest in rich, green fields (The Voice).” I realized God’s provided and offered rest, but I have to trust Him enough to accept the offer.
We Americans are addicted to busyness. We fill our plates with to-do’s like work, errands, homework, soccer games, family meals, and housework. These are good things, but when they become everything, we have a problem. When spending time with Jesus becomes one more thing we have to get done, we have a serious problem. Our plate is overfilled, and our cup is dry.
My friend Treena Wicoff writes Treengle’s. Short, easy-to-remember songs with a spiritual punch. Recently at Bible study she sang, “I live in a very busy world where my mind never stands still. Constant noise fills the air like I’m on like I’m on a tilt-a-whirl. I want to stop. I want to slow down, but there doesn’t seem to be the time. Lie after lie I believe. This world’s got a hold on me. My soul longs for the quiet place in the Lord. My soul rests in the quiet place of the Lord, where there is peace, where there is joy. My soul longs to be with the Lord.” That’s the song of the soul with an overfilled plate.
Here’s the thing, folks. We can’t have an overflowing cup and an overfilled plate at the same time. Without allowing Him to fill our cup, our souls do not find rest and refreshing. “His tracks take me to an oasis of peace near the quiet brook of bliss. That’s where he restores and revives my life (v 3, TPT).”
Jesus said, “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” That’s been me! I’ve gained designer purses and snazzy outfits, but at the cost of my soul being restored and revived. So now my purse and shoe fund will fund a cleaning crew—one less thing on my plate, one extra dollop in my cup.
My mentor, Kent Mattox, used to tell me that the winner of the rat race is still a rat at the end of the day. God offers us a choice. Rest or rat race. What will you decide?