Don’t ignore the stretch!

As I was doing some jobs at home I was reaching over to clean the bath and as I stretched to reach the other side (lengthways obvs, I’m not that short) it was a bit too far to stretch, but as I was trying to save time I carried on regardless and stretched a bit further and immediately I felt a pain in my side as I overstretched. Cleaning is a dangerous past time obviously!

Who knows that God is speaking all the time and He loves to speak to us in the most seemingly mundane of moments, as we go about our daily lives.
This was one of those times when I felt God speak to me as I got a shooting pain into my back….

How often do we overstretch, feel the discomfort but do it anyway?
Is it because life will just be so much easier and we might get to shave a bit of time off if we just do this (insert your own ‘this’ here). I felt God say there is always a warning in your body when you overstretch and it’s there for your safety. This is a metaphor for how God gives a warning when we are about to ‘overstretch’ in our daily lives.

But, how often do we find ourselves overstretched and ignoring the warning signs in our body, mind and spirit?

How easy it is to just carry on and work through the warning sign that is put there to protect us.We may have become so accustomed to the pain/ warning signs and feel that we can just keep going and cope with the discomfort because after all we’re getting things done, reaching the next goal, the next thing on our to do list aren’t we. Who knows what I mean?

We all love that feeling when we can…just get the job done, get this thing ticked off, just do this one more thing today that will make life manageable then all will be well with the world, I will be ‘winning at life’ won’t I?

I know myself that I feel in my body when I am maxed out and will start to feel the fatigue in my back and neck. However, I always push through the pain and often take some painkillers so I can keep going, I can always rest later right? Anyone relate

Why do we find it so hard to slow down and listen to our bodies as they tell us we are coming to the end of ourselves? Why do we find it so hard to step off the treadmill of life and allow time for rest? Why don’t we heed the warnings that Papa God so kindly gives us because He cares so much for us?

If you have to stop have you ever thought about the worst that can happen?It may mean having to leave something for tomorrow, leaving something part finished, or even never finish it!
I have had two episodes of back spasm in the last year that have left me in bed for a week and unable to do anything. As a doer I find it infuriating not being able to just crack on. The temptation when I start to feel a little bit of an ease up in my back to just do a quick tidy up, put the hoover round, give the floor a once over is overwhelming and it drives The Lovely Mr B mad, as I potentially put my back at more risk when it’s screaming at me to rest.
These flare ups are usually associated with times of stress or extreme tiredness usually preceding the end of a school term, and to be honest over the years I haven’t been good at resting when the fatigue starts.
As I headed off for an MRI to get to the root of the spasms I did wonder if it would show up on an MRI!!

You see, I fear the root of the problem is often not resting well and simply ‘being’. It’s interesting that God asked me last week if I was living out of the overflow? Don’t you just hate those rhetorical questions! If I’m honest the answer to the question was no and this got me wondering why?

What am I afraid of?

The dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out), missing the opportunity that of course will mean I will never get it again (If God has something in mind for us He will make sure opportunities are never just a one off, a once in a lifetime opportunity to step into our calling). Or even worse, am I worried about what people will think if I don’t do everything I set out to do? Surely I’m not performance driven? Am I looking for affirmation from others that I’m doing a good job? All these thoughts come rushing in when I stop to check myself.

So, if like me you don’t rest well, what can we do?

We can take our thought life and any potential lies and motives to God, to see what He says about us. We can listen out to follow the guidance of Holy Spirit and admit we don’t always get it right. In those moments we can take it back to God and ask for forgiveness, feeling immensely grateful that He is a good, good father who is always ready and waiting for us to turn round and give it to Him and move on.

We could also try and delegate to someone else, we (dare I say it) could ask for help!!! We can also prioritise rest and not feel guilty about it, knowing that time spent with the father is never wasted time and actually when we live out of that place we are more productive anyway. When we hang out with Papa everything is right with the world and to be honest everything else can wait. As the expression goes, “you can’t give out of an empty hopper”. If you aren’t filled up there is no way you will have anything to give away.

I for one want to live out of a place of rest so that those around me benefit as much as I do. I want to live in His strength and not be weary. but running after all that He has for me.

Isaiah 40:31 But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

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