“…his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” ~ Psalms 1:2-3
Right now I’m in a season of rest. Well, in certain ares of my life.
For the last few months before I had Luke, I started to pull back on my commitments. Commitments at work, at church, and in ministry. I could feel myself circling the wagons in preparation for Luke to come.
During that time I tried to pour more time and energy into Ethan and Liam. Time reading, playing, and building together. Soaking in those last few weeks before two changed to three.
But even as I cut down on external commitments and spent time with the boys, I began to feel guilty. I felt like I wasn’t giving enough. Like I should continue to reach out to others like I had been doing in the last year.
I even remember thinking the Sunday before I had Luke that I needed to go up and greet the visitors at church, who I saw across the auditorium. I felt so guilty when I didn’t have the energy to do so because I just wanted to go to lunch and go home for a nap.
Then God showed me something. As I looked out over my backyard one morning, I saw our Sycamore tree that had already begun to drop its leaves for the Fall. This was in August, so the tree was getting a very early head start. It occurred to me as I looked at the tree that even though the Sycamore seemed to be getting ready for Fall early and wasn’t giving the shade to me or the protection to the birds that it usually did, it didn’t stop and apologize for its actions. It simply began to pull back into itself and rest as it prepares for next year’s growth.
That was when God whispered to me that I need to give myself permission to do the same. Yes, there are times in life when I can give, give, give, but there are also times when I need to pull into myself and my family to simply rest, as God also prepares me for my next season of growth.
However, unlike a tree, our seasons are not so clearly defined. Some seasons of rest may last only a few weeks or months, but there are other times when life packs a punch that may take years to recover from before you enter the new season. That’s okay.
As the writer of Psalms points out, the important thing is to stay connected to God through it all. When you stay connected to God no matter the season you’re in, then he can lead you and nudge you in the direction you need to go. No need to feel guilty. No need to apologize.