God created rest before there was ever a need for it. He certainly didn’t need rest, and it was created before work was ever toilsome or exhausting. But He did. He created it on the seventh day after creating man on the sixth day. That tells me He created rest to spend time with me- where I could sit in His presence, and grow in my understanding of His character, and His love for me, memorizing the lines on His face as we sit and be still together. When we rest, He redirects dry bones and reignites faith. What a kind Father we have who gives us such a life breathing gift.
I’ve learned recently that my humanistic worldview has distorted my definitions of the characteristics of God. His “faithfulness” is limited to what my deceiving heart perceives as faithfulness. But just as God’s power is immeasurably more, His character is as well. His faithfulness is immeasurably more than anything I can ask for or imagine. So I pray and beg for Him to break my paradigms of His character and to give me a new spirit of understanding + wisdom in the magnitude of who He is. And I pray the same for you too.
There are some days when you feel head over heels in love- the excited, butterflies in your tummy, throwing up butterflies in their tummies kind of love- even though you don’t have anyone to be in love with, so you hope that it’s with Christ who dwells within you. Then there are days when each leg feels like it’s being swallowed by the gravel you run on, and your mind is simultaneously a roar and an eerie silence. So you sit and fight to listen to the One you know lives within you.
On both of these days, you wonder if this is what it means to finally love yourself. You hope so.
During winter, it’s easy to come across days you can’t run away from. The bitter cold can be paralyzing. In the midst of celebration and holiday, the works of our hands turn against us, as we find ourselves suffocating from idols that have fallen. Because eventually, your loved ones will hurt you, just as you have hurt them; company you’ve longed for doesn’t seem to understand the ways in which you’ve changed (which is okay, they most likely don’t see you everyday); your soul may grow immune to alone time, and you will be left with debilitating thoughts. These are the idols that will fall.
Take a deep breath, in this war, the Lord will make you lie down in safety. He knows the perfect time to draw you away. And the “safe” place may not look safe to us, but He definitely is. He isn’t easy or conventional or limited to our dictionary definitions for that matter, but He is good. Take a deep breath. Open your eyes and watch as the wilderness around you breaks into gladness, let it blossom abundantly. And soon enough, with the help of your God, you will return.
I was a dead hopeless wanderer and never again do I have to take a breath not knowing astronomic love or abundant freedom. I will never have to know what life is like without it.
Jesus had it all; as a man, He never knew of anything other than a rich and abundant life with His Father. But He had to go without it on the cross. Can you imagine the agony? Having to experience a breath of life without unconditional love or grace in which all you can muster is a cry of “my God, why have You forsaken me?”
I want to be the widow in Luke 21. She’s the perfect portrayal of a follower of Christ. I have absolutely nothing to offer Him except “all (of the time) I have to live on.” I am an impoverished and dry soul without the abundance of Christ. But like the “rich” in the passage, I so often believe that my “gifts”-my creativity, my inquisitive heart, my courageous and adventurous spirit- are so incredibly valuable that they can be placed before the Lord as an offering. I fall, believing that only when I’m writing, or only when I’m on stage, do I have anything of worth to offer as a gift. Who am I to think that that is enough? Who am I to say that those gifts are even mine to give away? I have literally nothing that He needs, but everything He desires.
Never have I ever felt more connected to a biblical character than the woman who sought the hem of Jesus’ robe to be healed in Luke 8.
She wasted her life to find the ultimate source of healing, and when she saw it, she did whatever she could to get to Him, crawling throughout the throngs of people in the streets. And when she touched the edge of His robe and felt His power, I can only imagine she wanted to cling to Him for the rest of her life because she immediately knew she was healed. When He asked (though He already knew) who had touched Him, she told Him incomplete honesty, believing that He would have nothing but the best of intentions for her.
His reply to her simply was “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease.”