One thing that puts a little smile on my face on any given day, is when I see a hummingbird fly over to my feeder and take a drink. I usually think the words, “Drink Up!” which makes me think of drinking in the things of the Spirit. Maybe that’s why I don’t like it empty for too long.
Today I realized when watching one little guy sip to his heart’s content, that his wings never stopped. Did you know a hummingbird’s wings beat between 50 and 200 flaps per second depending on the direction of flight, the purpose of their flight and the surrounding air conditions? After thinking about it, only one in about four will actually stop flying when they drink at my glass feeder. They get enough food to last them a while, and they’re off. They’re fed… sustained, and then they resume their busy little schedule of whatever it is hummingbirds do.
I watched, hesitant to move, waiting for his wings to stop. But they never did.
An average hummingbird’s heart rate is more than 1,200 beats per minute (compared to the average human heart rate of 60-100 beats per minute). A hummingbird takes an average of 250 breaths in that one minute – and that is when they’re at rest. Their breathing pace naturally increases when they are in flight.
A moment later, I heard through the kitchen window glass, the hum of those wings as my tiny friend flew away and disappeared through a hole in the hedge. I squinted for a last glimpse of him – and wondered if God ever watches us like I do hummingbirds… waiting for our wings to stop. Waiting for us to actually rest while we take in what He’s left for us take in. We sip on our Sunday morning message. We “drink up” our devotional, and I wonder if it matters to Him how often we drink a little at a time, “on the go”.
There must be more value to rest than we can consciously grasp. This world values the opposite. It overwhelmingly values busyness, often equating busyness with productivity. “If I can just keep flapping my wings while getting this food, I can get more accomplished. Carve some seconds off.” “If I can just soak in some decent lyrics while I’m driving…” “If I can cook dinner while I get one more chapter read from my audiobook…”
But either I’m lazy, or I’m wise to think it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re more productive. At least in God’s eyes. So…what is “productive”, what is “accomplished” in God’s eyes?
Am I lazy, or am I wise to think that resting is crucial? Even Godly. That as upside-down as it might seem, resting in Him – in his presence – in the faithfulness of his words – without a scheduled start and finish time – is probably the most productive thing we’ll do all day – or all week.
But rest is not a given. It’s not something that is transmitted to us if we slow down, sit in front of the fire or have a screen off for long enough. I mean, doesn’t even the term “long enough” change from day to day, depending on a dozen variables? True rest, from what I’m noticing, is more of an opportunity that comes to people as a direct result of their obedience to what God is telling them to do. It’s not even non-scheduled chill time with Him. Although non-scheduled chill time with Him is some underestimated gooood stuff, that I am valuing more and more with each year.
Soul-rest is a gift from God Himself, written about in Hebrews 4. Read that whole thing – it’s only 16 verses long. And the last 3 give hope to the weary and busy of us – the weak and tempted of us. Please – keep reading till the end!
I want to be intentional this year, to stay “rested” in Him. Meaning, not just not busy or multi-tasking. Because neither one of those is wrong. But to stay rested by checking myself – and asking, “God, am I walking out what you’re asking of me in this season?” And the inverse – if I notice I’m not at rest, asking Him, “Ok, Dad… I feel stress. I know something’s off-balance. Am I not obeying? Is it as simple as not believing a promise you gave me a long time ago? What is it? Would you help me pinpoint it?”
Every single child of God has access to a special kind of rest that no one else in the world has access to, because of Christ. Soul rest. He makes it possible. And obedience makes it ours. Let’s drink up.