Daily D – Proverbs 24:33-34
A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
scarcity will attack you like an armed robber. (NLT)
One of the tiny torturers at the Physical Therapy office is a young woman named Nicolette. Her name means victory. Which seems to indicate that I am on the losing end of our interactions. Actually, she always is bright, funny, and encouraging. She makes me laugh. We sing together, we tell stories, we enjoy life. Well, as much as you can enjoy life with someone trying to bend you into a pretzel.
A couple of days before my shoulder surgery, Nicolette told me about the motivational telephone call she sits in on Mondays. The guy who speaks said that if you lie in bed 15 minutes or so after your alarm goes off, you have lost the day, or you’re on your way to losing the day. That is 15 minutes you can use to get stronger, better, faster, wiser. I thought of his message when I read this proverb today.
There are seasons in our lives when we do require a little more rest. When you’re lugging around your deadweight arm after surgery, that’s a season when you need more rest. My bride needs a little more rest right now. She has to do all her normal work and take care of me. That’s a pretty heavy load. You know what big babies grown men are when they’re hurting. Not me, of course, but other guys.
Rest is good. We’re supposed to work from a place of rest rather than resting from our work. Resting after surgery is good. However, my wife has laid out the exercises I need to do today. Rest may be over for a while.
My bride is up for the day now and is making a list of things for me to do. In addition to the aforementioned exercises, I have to take my medicine. She has to take my temperature. She wants to know whether I want the anti-nausea medicine. Life is like that when you’re “resting.”
According to Proverbs, scarcity and poverty are two of the constant companions of laziness. Another problem is the possibility of losing what you have. In other words, there is nothing good about laziness. This is not the same thing as restorative recreation. It’s not the same thing as intentional withdrawal. It’s not the same thing as necessary rest and recovery. Laziness is a state of mind that says, “I’ll do it later.” Sometimes, “I’ll do it later” is a good response. It’s just never okay for it to be an every-time response.
My Apple Watch has a snooze feature as an option for the alarm function. I never use it. I get up as soon as the alarm vibrates my arm. This solves so many other issues. It makes so many more things possible. I would like to tell you this is because I figured this out all on my own, but it has much more to do with today’s text than any bit of wisdom I bring to the world. It’s amazing what good things happen when we hear and obey God immediately.
Notice the action words in the last two sentences of this proverb. They are pounce and attack. I really don’t want anybody pouncing on me today. I probably couldn’t defend myself very well. I definitely don’t want anybody attacking me today. How about you?
The best way to avoid being robbed of rest and restoration is to discipline ourselves to go to bed on time. That makes getting up on time much easier.
I’m mentoring a young man who is learning these lessons the hard way. He has missed two of our appointments and was thirty minutes late to another. He has allowed sleep to keep him from timely observance of calendar notifications. Five years from now, he’ll be much better at this. Ten years from now, he’ll be a master. Fifteen years from now, he’ll mentor others.
What one step toward self-improvement will you take today?
I will work toward mastering talking to type.
Our Father, I thank you that you teach us how to take real rest. You invite us to go on restful journeys with you. You also teach us how to live self-disciplined lives that maximize our effectiveness when we are on the clock. Empower us today to live in such a manner that the hours before us turn into a resounding win. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”