Rest. To Love.

by Jonathan Trotter on January 3, 2016

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I’m trying to practice what I preach. I’m trying to remember my own advice. Oh, and I’m trying to transition back to life in Cambodia after a few months in the States.

So yeah, let me remind myself (and you too, if you’re still reading): Rest. To Love.

You want to love people well? You want to love your God well? Then rest. Sabbath.

You want to disciple people well? You want to model what it means to follow Jesus in a foreign land? Then stop for a bit. Breathe. Quit planning and straining for a second and enjoy Him. Enjoy His word. Enjoy His Church. Slowly.

I’m not writing a new article this month. I’m remembering old ones. I hope you’ll remember too.

I hope the first two articles quoted and linked below will help you remember two things: margin’s important, and running can be dangerous.

I hope the second two articles will remind you that God doesn’t always lead in a straight line, and that even at night, there are stars.

May your 2016 be full of the Father, with deep awareness of His presence and His plans. May Jesus stir deep inside of you a longing for the restoration of all things and the coming of the Kingdom, and may you remember, day by day, the last promise of Jesus: “Yes, I am coming soon!”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

 

all for ONE,
Jonathan M. Trotter

 

From the article, margin: the wasted space we desperately need:

Margin is wasted space that we desperately need. It’s space that’s not accounted for and produces no obvious, easily quantifiable profit. However, margin is extremely important, creating a zone of safety, giving you time and space and emotional capital to react safely when something unexpected happens.

Often, we make margin a liability: “You’re not busy?! What in the world are you doing?! Think of all the needs!” I used to believe this was primarily an issue for those of us from the West; however, I’m realizing that this is very much an issue for many of our brothers and sisters from the East too. The truth is, we all need to devote some serious attention to how we deal with margin, because the costs of living margin-less are extremely high.

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From the article, Please Stop Running:

Jesus perfectly balanced exterior, people-focused ministry with deep Rest. Jesus rested in the peace and security and love and acceptance of his Father, and then turned around and loved people like crazy.

May we do the same. May our time with the Father, resting in his presence, drive us to love people. And after a time of loving and serving people, may we take our bone-weary souls back up the mountain to Rest with our Father.

Rest is not a bad word.

Rest is not a waste of time.

Rest is holy, and commanded.

Rest forces me to admit my humanity.

Rest reminds me to agree, once again, that He’s God and I’m not.

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From the article, When the Straight & Narrow Isn’t:

My parents had their life all mapped out, and then their baby was born with chromosomal abnormalities and died at home, surrounded by tubes and oxygen tanks, only a month old.

As a teenager, I had my life pretty well planned out (get my pilot’s license, be Nate Saint). But then my mom got cancer and died. And the path of God darkened.

The “plan of God for my life,” the path I was following with full confidence and youthful arrogance, disappeared. Because sometimes the straight and narrow isn’t.

God doesn’t always lead in straight lines.

He is the God of fractals, making beauty and order out of lines that look like a drunk man was drawing during an earthquake.

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From the article, Navigating the Night (3 things to do when you have no idea what to do):

I don’t like the dark. I never have. I like to know exactly where I’m going, when I’m going to get there, and how many McDonald’s there are along the way. But life doesn’t seem to work like that. So, when I find myself unsure and blind, I remember these three flashes of truth.

I might not know where I’ll be a year or ten from now, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got enough light for now. I can navigate the night when I remember these three burning callings: Adore Him, Love People, and Walk Boldly.

There’s not much to this, really, but when you’re walking in the dark, a little light goes a long ways.

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What articles meant a lot to you in 2015 (from A Life Overseas or otherwise)?
Feel free to share the links in the comment section below.

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About Jonathan Trotter

Jonathan is a missionary in Southeast Asia, where he provides pastoral counseling at a local counseling center. He also serves as one of the pastors at an international church. Before moving to the field with his wife of sixteen years and their four kids, he served as a youth pastor in the Midwest for ten years. He enjoys walking with people towards Jesus and eating imported Twizzlers. | www.trotters41.com | facebook: trotters41 | twitter: @trotters41
  • karph63

    I shared this. It was a blessing and I’m still learning how to really rest.

    • I think a whole lot of us are in the same boat: “learning how to really rest.” Glad this was a blessing!

  • Jonathan, this is a message that needs to be heard again and again. I don’t fully understand why there is such resistance (even, especially?!) within me when I agree so strongly with this. So, please, keep saying it :)!

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Amy, and I’m with you on the whole “I agree but” thing! And BTW, I’ve seen your book in various locations around our house. It looks awesome! : )

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