Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.

–Mark 6:31 NLT

I was talking on the phone with my sister-in-law. “We’re saved by grace, but then duty takes over. It’s like we believe that in order to hear ‘Well done,’ it’s a lot of work and little play. No savoring the good things in life,” she lamented.

Her heart feels this lack of grace. For the last few years she’s cared for my brother, who has early-onset dementia called FTD. He is 63. Even as the disease progresses, my sister-in-law has the difficult burden of working to support them financially. She knows that, if she’s going to endure, resting from work and savoring good things have to become a part of her rhythm of living.

In the early stages of the disease, my brother and I could talk and pray together over the phone. When that became difficult for him, I sent him the following poem. I wanted him to know, as much as he could, that he was loved just because–not because of what he was producing or doing. “Just being” is another grace gift that helps us endure.

A Psalm on Being

The little child says
Here I am daddy
as he burst
on father’s sight
from behind the chair
where he’s been hiding.
He doesn’t say
What can I do for you?
How can I help you?
I want to serve you
seeking somehow
to work and gain
the father’s favor
and delight.
He knows that they are his
without exhausting effort
to achieve.
They are his always.
Here I am daddy
–Abba Father–
not working
just being
Your eternal son.

ACTION: What is the balance of your life between ministry and rest? Work and pleasure? How does the idea of just being with the Father as His child move you? In what ways might God be inviting you to live by grace and not just duty?

“A Psalm on Being” by Joseph Bayly in Psalms of My Life, p. 32


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