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Forced to Rest

‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul…’ (Psalm 23:1-2 NIV)

Confession is good for the soul, so my thoughts here are a deep look into my soul as I share what the Lord is impressing on me whilst I am in the hospital. Today marks one whole month in hospital waiting on my heart surgery. There are so many questions I could be asking: ‘What on earth is going on?’, ‘Why am I here?’, ‘Why is it taking so long?’ and ‘Am I bored, frustrated, fed up or angry?’ No, I am not. I am in perfect peace and tranquility. Why? Because I believe that God has got me and He is doing a work in me, which is probably more important than my physical heart operation and why it is taking so long.

In The Game

You see, I have been saved 34 years and pastoring for 30 of those years. From the day I got saved until now, I have been IN THE GAME – running hard, winning souls, planting churches and working with God in building up the body of Christ and the Kingdom of God on the earth. Yes, for thirty years. Non-stop, with no sabbaticals, just flat out running hard for Jesus. In the words of Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:15 (NKJV), ‘And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you’. I think the reality is that I would leave everything on the pitch and die ministering if it were meant to be so.

But God has other plans.

A Time to Rest, Reset and Restore

This period in hospital is my half time. God is making me lie down. I am on forced rest and He has me away from the family and people I love to make me rest. I know some of you will be saying, ‘I told you to rest, Pastor’, but telling me to rest is like telling a lazy person to work. You know you can’t just say to a drug addict STOP, right?

God has brought me here to REST, RESET and RESTORE my soul. I was tired both physically and spiritually, I had lost that peaceful quiet walk in the garden with Jesus and was in ‘ministry mode’ most of the time. So God has taken me off the pitch and made me lie down so I can be refreshed and restored.

I will have the operation when God is ready for me to have it, my time is in His hands, and once I have had it, I will rest and recover to get back on the pitch to play in the second half of my life and ministry. Satan has been trying to take me out since the age of nineteen; that is a long time! But God has got me. I am His and He is mine. No weapon formed against me shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17).

Where Do You Find Your Rest?

In 2022 I will be running again and playing out of my skin with and for God, refreshed and restored and renewed. What will 2022 look like for you? Will you allow the Lord in this season to bring you to a place of rest and find peace in Him so that you can run your race strong and finish it strong? Make sure to incline your ear to Him, be open to His Spirit and draw near to the Father. Not just in this holiday period but at ALL TIMES.

May the Lord teach you how to rest in this season and appreciate the peace, tranquility and alone time with Him. May He be the Refresher and Restorer of your soul.

Peter is the founder and lead elder of multi-site ARC Church in the United Kingdom. He is married to Caris and a proud father. Peter is passionate about building radical, real churches and seeing the Kingdom of God advance through the planting of healthy churches.

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