As a wife, momma, employee, volunteer, and leader the word “rest” sounds like a cute little fairytale someone made up. Or maybe a joke? Something to tease us with and keep just out of our reach.
I don’t know about you, but I am a doer and overachiever. I’m not proud of it. I am just competitive deep down to my core. Secretly (or maybe not so secretly), I find my value and worth through recognition and striving to accomplish things. If I sit down to take a break, I make sure no one is watching. I close the door. I’ll even pretend like I’m doing something if someone sees me resting! Why? Because I feel guilty when I slow down and stop. I mean, come on. No one ever tells you what a good job you’re doing at resting! When I stop for even just a moment, I hear a voice in my head that tells me I’m lazy or that I’m never going to do the things I want to do and be the person I want to be.
In other words, rest?? “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
Maybe you can relate.
Maybe you don’t feel like you have time to simply breathe and rest.
You can’t slow down or little mouths won’t get fed.
You can’t slow down or the bills won’t get paid.
You can’t slow down or your dreams won’t come true.
Goodness, what an exhausting way to live. I can say that, because I’m right there with you. In fact, if I’m being honest, I am sitting here right now at 10:47 at night writing… about rest… instead of actually resting (and now bowing my head in shame).
But listen closely, friend. I want to share some truth with you over these next couple of blogs that God has been hitting me in the face with lately. And you might want to sit down. This could hurt.
| WE ARE NOT IN CONTROL |
Sorry, hun. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you are not in control of everything. The whole world, including yours, does not depend on you. And the whole world, including mine, does not depend on me. And, man, do I hate admitting that. Because let’s be real, it’s nice to be needed!
I recently read about Sabbath and it got me thinking about why God even set it in motion.
Growing up, I never quite understood Sabbath. I thought it was merely a day off for lazy people or a nice suggestion. Sadly, it never occurred to me until a couple of months ago that rest, though it’s required for many practical reasons, is also a posture of the heart. Rest is required so that I can flip my focus. Sabbath is not having a break-time so that I can acknowledge the work I have completed thus far. It’s acknowledging the work that God completed long ago through Jesus on the cross. It’s acknowledging the victory that God has already won and all that He has done for us.
Rest reminds me that I am not in control. It is not up to me to do it all. It’s already been done. Yes, we have responsibilities. Yes, God has entrusted us with purpose and tasks. But for doers like myself, we can often get so wrapped up in those things that we begin to raise ourselves above the One Who gave them to us. We begin to think that we have to “go-go-go” and “do-do-do” or nothing God wants to happen will get done. Oh, friend. We could not be more wrong. God doesn’t need us to do anything. He can do what He wants, when He wants. His plan does not depend on you and me. Yes, He wants us to join Him in it, but hear me on this — His plan does not rise and fall with how much we can accomplish. And it’s important we know that. Otherwise, we begin to elevate ourselves above the Creator without even realizing it. See, when we begin to operate in this way, our trust in God providing for us decreases and pressure on ourselves increases. Rest is a way for us to remember Who’s hands really do hold the whole world (that would be God) and who’s do not (that would be you and me, friend).
“Rest is a way for us to remember Who’s hands really do hold the whole world, and who’s do not.”
And though it can feel like a punch in the gut to realize it, it is so incredibly freeing. It is such a relief to stop for a moment, take a deep breath of fresh air, and know that it’s okay if we do. In fact, it’s encouraged.