12 Apr Permission to Pause by Mindy Ross
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” -Acts 1:4-5
I don’t know about you, but I love a rainy day. There is something about the pitter-patter of rain on the roof that seems to say, “you have permission to pause”. And I long to pause; to put on a sweatshirt, cuddle up in a cozy blanket, and watch a sappy chick flick. I believe we can learn a lot from the rhythm of nature. Farmers know that rainy days are essential breaks from working in the fields, that allow the soil to be watered and prepared for growth.
When is the last time you gave yourself permission to pause from the busyness of life and ministry and receive refreshment and guidance from the Holy Spirit? I believe strategic pauses are vital to a healthy, balanced life. Pausing allows time for reflection, prayer, rest, and listening. Sadly, driven people like myself don’t pause frequently enough.
As a communicator, I have learned the art of the strategic pause in sermons, conversations, and small group discussion, but when it comes to scheduling my day, I rarely include “pause” on my to-do list. In my attempt to get everything done, I press on from one thing to the next, and sometimes forget that I serve a God who is not rushed.
When Jesus gave his disciples the great commission, it began with a great pause. Before they could begin to accomplish the huge task of taking the gospel to the ends of the earth, they were instructed to “stay and wait”. Stay in Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit. I can imagine zealous Peter wanting to get started right away, but there was purpose in the pause. The pause allowed time for the Holy Spirit to fill them, empower them and equip them for the impossible. When we refuse to pause, we miss out on incredible opportunities to be refreshed and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
So friend, what could be waiting for you in your pause? Maybe God will refresh your soul like the rain refreshes the ground. Maybe He will guide you in a new direction, or give you a new idea. Or maybe it will simply be the rest you needed to continue on in the good work that He has anointed you to do. Whatever is waiting, I know it will be worth it to pause and wait upon the Lord.