Seven R’s of Restful Living: Remain with Jesus



A few weeks ago during one of my yearly medical appointments, my doctor told me that I needed to reduce my stress. At first he was going to prescribe a medication (which I was willing to accept); then, he changed his mind and said,” I am not giving you the medication; you know what to do and I believe you can do it.” This conversation made me feel humbled, thankful, and honored—

  •  humbled, because I wasn’t doing what I knew I needed to be doing;
  • thankful, because in a very kind way my doctor pointed that out to me
  • honored, because he recognized that I have the knowledge and ability to make changes.

 God spoke to me through my doctors words. I thanked him, as well as my doctor, and told him that I wanted to exchange my stressful lifestyle for a restful lifestyle. I asked him to show me more clearly what a restful lifestyle looks like.

He gave me the following seven-point guideline which I’m calling “The 7 R’s of Restful Living.”

  • Remain with Jesus
  • Remember your frame—body, soul, and spirit
  • Receive kindly-spoken truth
  • Resist Resentment
  • Reduce your commitments
  • Rid yourself of clutter
  • Rejoice with friends

By following these guidelines for seven weeks, I’m confident that my stress level will decrease. Each week, I will be sharing what I’m learning in my blog post. Today, my topic is: Remain with Jesus.

What does it mean to remain with Jesus? Remaining with him is just like remaining with any other person. It means staying rather than leaving. I married my husband in 1967;  in a few weeks, I will have remained (stayed) with him for fifty years.

John never forced me to live with him; I chose to do so. Before we got married he told me that he loved me. If that was the one and only time that he said “I love you”, I would not have wanted to stay with him for fifty years. Frequently he’s told me. Just as importantly, frequently, he’s shown me that he loves me.

If I ‘d never acknowledged his love and responded to it by returning his love, I don’t think that he would have wanted to stay with me. Because he is such a faithful person, I’m confident that he would have remained, anyway. But neither of us would have enjoyed very much.

What has it taken for us to stay together and enjoy our togetherness? One very obvious but easily neglected thing is that we talk with one another. Even after fifty years, we cannot read one another’s minds. It’s through our words that we discover what one another thinks, feels, and desires. He wants to give me what I desire, and I want to give him what he desires.   

It’s the same with Jesus.  He never forced me into a relationship with him. When I heard that he loved me (I was convinced of it by his words, that is—Scripture), I chose to enter into a life-long relationship with him. I’ve remained with him because he continues to love me. And my love for him continues to grow.

What keeps the love flowing between Jesus and me?  The same thing that keeps the love flowing between my husband and me—frequent conversations.  As I read Scripture, Jesus tells me more and more about himself—he shares his desires his thoughts, his plans; I feel honored and loved.  

Because I’m confident of his love, I listen to his words; I feel blessed not only by his affirmations but by his kindly-spoken words of correction. And I’m finding out the truth of this statement:”Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble” (Psalm 119:165 NLT)

You can find much more about what it means to remain with Jesus in the Gospel of John, chapter 15. In some translations the word that’s used for “remain” is “abide.” 

What I recently heard from Jesus (while mediating on John 15 and Psalm 119: 165) I express in the following poem/song.


REMAIN WITH JESUS

Verse One
If I love God, I will love his instructions.
Listen to him and do what he says—
Live a life of intentional obedience,
Making plans and following through.

Chorus
Remain with Jesus;
Remain with Jesus;
Remain with Jesus!

Verse Two
I will do my best on all his assignments,
Trusting in the wisdom he gives—
Always remain in touch with the Spirit
So from his purpose, I do not shift.

Verse Three
Often, I’ll need to make an adjustment
Not from his purpose, just to my plan.
If I’m resentful of all interruptions,
I’ll miss what Jesus is saying to me.

Verse Four
Some of my phone calls, I need to answer
Blocking them all reduces my sight;
Without help from brothers and sisters,
My vision of Love will be incomplete.

Verse Five
Remaining with Jesus, I have discovered,
Also means remaining with them.
For this is his most basic instruction–
Love one another as I have loved you.

21 thoughts on “Seven R’s of Restful Living: Remain with Jesus

  1. Pingback: Seven R’s of Restful Living: Rejoice with Your Friends | jane ault---choosing grace

  2. Pingback: Seven R’s of Restful Living: Rid Yourself of Clutter | jane ault---choosing grace

  3. Pingback: Seven R’s of Restful Living: Receive Kindly Spoken Truth | jane ault---choosing grace

  4. Jane, as you know, this is perfect for me right now. It seems God has us somewhat on the same page. I look forward to reading your blog posts each week as you write about the 7 R’s of Restful living. The Lord just keeps speaking more and more to me about a Restful Lifestyle and your blog is another example of Him speaking to me and reminding me of first remaining in Him. Also, I love the photo, it’s very peaceful. And I love your poem! Thank you for sharing this Jane.

    • Marlene, your words of encouragement mean a lot to me. Thank you, so much. God has been showing me that this seven week series is to be my main focus right now; I’m to write it and to live it. For so many years I’ve resisted “resting”, but I’m truly finding peace in “letting go” and joy, because it’s in doing so that my heart is filled with a new song or poem.

    • Thanks, Gloria. I’m eager to find out what the Lord will show to me as I write this series. Please keep me in your prayers that I might words would be life-giving.

  5. Thank you, once again, Jane for the blessing of your wise words. It’s amazing to have lived this long only to discover I have so much more to learn and so much more to adjust in my way of life. Love, Judy

    • It’s the same with me, Judy. The older I become the more I realize how much I don’t yet know! I feel so deeply loved and grateful to God for continuing to reveal to me his knowledge and wisdom. Love, Jane

  6. Love this and as always so helpful. I have learned to say no to a lot more things in order to keep my peace. I’m working on a few other things on that list as well. Looking forward to your future writings. Happy 50th Anniversary too, how wonderful!! I loved how you use life examples, so much wisdom there. Thanks Jane!!

    • I’m glad that you are learning to keep healthy boundaries, Rose. I appreciate your encouraging words, and I’m grateful for the way God uses the lessons of life to teach me wisdom.

    • Thank you for telling me this, Mary Lou. I prayed that God would show me which of my photos would convey rest. God has blessed me greatly by placing me in such a beautiful setting. I love to share my photos. It’s good for me to remember that, sometimes, “pictures speak better than words”; they are an important part of communication.

  7. Another wonderful, inspirational blog post! Trusting in God to lead me where He wants me helps me get done what is really important. I look forward to reading the other 6 R’s of Restful Living!
    Debbie

    • Thanks for your comment, Debbie! Yes, trust is a crucial part of “remaining” with God, isn’t it! Your example of childlike trusting-confidence in Jesus inspires me.

  8. So good, Jane- so much is possible as we remain or “abide” in Him! I love the part in John 15:11 that reminds us that , ” I have told you this that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete….such a contrast from the unrest of trusting in ourselves or the world. For apart from him, we really can do nothing.
    Thank you again- looking forward to all the “R”‘s!

    • Thank you, Donna–I’m glad you commented on the “joy” part of remaining (abiding) in Jesus! It’s so, true! I’m finding that joy comes as I step out and follow Jesus’ direction. A task may not look like joy (from my point of view) but it becomes joyful in the doing–because of His presence with me.

  9. Jane,
    You so tenderly inspire me not to get discouraged. I’ll try right now to ‘remain in Jesus’ & surrender my hurts to Him.

    • Thank you, Judith, I’m encouraged by your comment. When I speak and write with tenderness, it’s because of the tenderness I’ve received from Jesus. His patience with me has been long-standing. Surrender, for me, is not always instant!

  10. Thanks Jan I just the same conversation with my doctor about my blood pressures and diabetes diet havent followed since my husband left me for my friend it been a week since I went back on it it been a good week. So thank you again.

    • Cori, Thank you so much for reading my blog this morning and commenting on it. I’m grateful to God for giving me words that encouraged you. I”m glad that you are taking your blood pressure medication and following your diet. Staying on a healthy diet is one of my challenges, too. I pray that it will continue to help you. May the Lord Jesus give you an awareness of his loving presence, today, and give you peace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *