Author Julie-Allyson Ieron offers devotional thoughts and Bible-based encouragement to overwhelmed caregivers of aging parents and other relatives.
Julie is the author of more than two dozen books, including The Overwhelmed Woman's Guide to ... Caring for Aging Parents. (www.womencareforagingparents.com)
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Thursday, August 28, 2014
Take a Break!
I’m pretty sure I received an
email from God.
I’d been writing all
day—seven hours straight and counting. Definitely beyond the wise max for one
sitting. But I had so much more to get done on this rare day without family doctor
visits or other interruptions. I had to capture those hours.
My head throbbed.
Unconsciously, I brought my hands up to my temples. I’m so tired.
That’s when the email
dinged. I’m usually disciplined about ignoring emails until I’m finished working.
But when my right hand returned to the mouse, it clicked “Open Outlook” on its
own. There I found the email—a devotion
with a subhead that grabbed me:
Coffee Breaks Are Not Optional
It might as well have been
flashing blue neon. I read further: “We must … learn how to stop working.
That’s called rest.… It was on God’s Top Ten List.”
Hmm. Is Someone looking over my shoulder? Kind of eerie.
I may not have much trouble
with some of the commands on God’s Top Ten list: Don’t steal—okay, what’s not mine doesn’t belong in my
sticky fingers. Honor your parents—I
work at that every day. Don’t take God’s name in vain—I love that Name. But Sabbath rest? Surely, God you didn’t mean
for me to get worked up about that one. Yet, it is prominent on the list, which
is why I realized the devotion written by Ed Gungor was pretty much an email
from God, sent via Ed’s keyboard.
I did a little homework on
rest and found a pertinent challenge in Hebrews: “Whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did
from his. Let us therefore
strive to enter that rest” (Hebrews
4:10-11 ESV). Rest is
a privilege God offers—and it’s increasingly obvious that He considers failure
to accept this offer an affront—a sin every bit as appalling as failure to keep
any of His other commands.
But God … I began my moan.
Just stop! You know what to do!
pushed back from the keyboard and dragged myself to the family room to rest.
Was it in the schedule? Nope. Was it necessary? You bet! Mostly because I never
want to be on the wrong side of the Word—even when it arrives via an email from