When I went outside with the dog first thing this morning something was different. The sky was bright blue and cloudless, the weather was a little cooler than normal, the humidity was way less than over the last week or so, and there was a slightly cool breeze flowing through the yard… But that wasn’t it! As I stepped off the deck onto the patio I suddenly realized that it was soooo quiet! The only sound that came to my ears was the familiar and melodic notes of a Cardinal singing somewhere in the trees. IT WAS SO PEACEFUL! And you know? I needed that…
Piper had been less than receptive to swallowing her breakfast this morning. So after an extended period of time, trying every trick in the book in order to coax her along, she finally partook of a good amount of food. But me… Well, by the time I was satisfied with the amount she had consumed, I was physically and emotionally spent! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again! I’ve worked many different jobs in my life, many times holding down two and sometimes three jobs at once… But NOTHING compares to the extended homecare of a loved one… especially when that loved one is the most special thing in your life!
Not that I am complaining, because I am honored for the responsibility to care for my sweetie, but there are times like this morning when the body and the mind are screaming at you and a variety of negative thoughts are pounding at your brain!
I had placed one of the extra chairs for our dining room set near the sliding window quite a few months ago. At the time it just seemed like a convenient spot for the chair, but I soon came to realize that it is actually nice to have the chair in that place, so that on days like today, I can sit there while I catch my breath and re-center my resolve, as I put the lease on the dog before taking him out in the mornings!
On this day I took a little extra time as I fought to keep my mouth shut from complaining or saying something that my faith walk would later regret! And the whole time I sat there, my faithful four footed companion simply stood in front of the slider looking at me with his big brown eyes seemingly saying that he was feeling my pain! Finally with a purposeful push, I stood myself up, opened up the door and led the dog outside.
So it was in the midst of all that personal drama in which I stepped into the quiet solitude of our beautiful, tree and vine lined yard. The quiet of the morning just seemed to suck out the pain, the questioning and the pressure that I had just endured! It felt… RESTFUL!
When we went back into the house a few moments later, I fed the dog, poured myself a nice hot thermos cup of Starbuck’s Carmel coffee, and plopped down in front of my computer and my Bible study program. The word “rest” had struck a chord in my mind so I did a word search and soon found myself absorbing the truths behind a section of Psalm 37:7 where the Psalmist declares: “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of ________…”
When I read that much of the verse I simply thought, “…because of… WHATEVER!” That is whatever negative thing that is giving you trouble at any particular moment in time! For me that whatever right then and there was my morning experience with my bride. Following a hunch, I looked up the original Hebrew for the word “rest” and discovered that the very first meaning is, “To be dumb!”
Well, I was a little taken back with that definition, but once I looked up what a modern dictionary has to say about that word, I couldn’t help but agree with Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries. One of the meanings in the Oxford online dictionary describes the action of being “dumb” as “to simplify or reduce the intellectual content of something so as to make it accessible to a larger number of people.” So in my case this morning… as well as in this entire chapter of our lives as we face the threat of disease in my wife’s body, to be “dumb” is to simplify, reduce or just not allow all the intellectual, worldly arguments concerning Alzheimer’s to confuse our childlike faith in the Word of our God!
I had to laugh at this point as I recalled that an individual had once implied to our son that I was being “dumb” in the early care of my wife, for they thought that I wasn’t doing anything to help her… when in reality I had many different irons in the fire researching the disease, looking for the best medical care we could get, and applying for financial benefits… while all the while attempting to handle her increasing physical needs… They just didn’t know all that I was doing behind the scenes! Looking back now, with this current information, I guess I should call them up and thank them for the compliment!
So… that extreme quiet outside of the house this morning was just what the doctor ordered! Have you ever had one of those stressful times when the good Lord just seemed to intervene and give you exactly what you were needing… even if you didn’t know what you needed at the time?
This morning I needed rest… I needed to “dumb” down all those tired, stressed out negatives that wanted to scream out and simply “REST” in the Lord. At that moment I needed the comfort of His Words, the comfort of His love, and comfort of His peace, “which goes beyond anything we can imagine, (and) will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7 God’s Word ©)
Well, I feel better… How about you? Got a need that is stressing you out today? Then I encourage you to seek His REST! You might even want to write down Psalm 37:7 on a strip of paper inserting your own “WHATEVER” in the verse and carry it around with you this weekend!
So with that…Have a great weekend, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “Whose REST am I expecting to experience today?” … or with the new information I’ve given you… “How “DUMB” am I expecting to be today?”