“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
As a wife, momma, employee, and volunteer, 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. Or perhaps it was an idea to make us laugh? And, then cry shortly after because we so desperately wish it was a real thing and not a myth...
I don’t know about you, but I am a doer and overachiever. It’s not because I want to be. I am just competitive deep down to my core — something I am not entirely proud of. 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… but perhaps they should! 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 if I slow down.
In other words, rest?? “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
Maybe you can relate.
Maybe you, also, 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.
You can’t slow down or someone else will get to your goals and dreams before you do.
First of all, can I just say one thing? LIES!!
And second of all, gosh, what an exhausting and miserable way to live. I can say that, because I’m right there with you. In fact, if I’m being brutally 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 was reading a book this summer, and it stated something about Sabbath that got me thinking about why God even mentioned it in the first place. For the first time EVER, I had an epiphany when it comes to rest and Sabbath.
Growing up, I never quite understood Sabbath. I thought it was merely a day off for lazy people or a nice suggestion God gave us, so we could have a built in break from our labors. 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 me, for us.
Not only that (though that is certainly enough). 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 in this world. Yes, God has entrusted us with purpose and tasks and opportunities. 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. Yes we have responsibilities. 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, and we can do this without even realizing it. See, when we begin to operate in this way, our trust in God providing for us decreases and faith in ourselves and our own abilities 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.
Stay tuned for Part 2.....
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