It was the middle of the night. My son was crying. He has done this nightly for almost all of his two little years. I sat down with him in the rocking chair in his room around midnight. As I got up to place him back in his crib, I forgot where the crib was .We had moved it to a different part of his room a few months ago. This night, I was so exhausted that I became disoriented. Instead of placing him in his crib, I walked into his train table, and I fell, with him in my arms. My husband heard the thud when I fell and came running. Thankfully, my son was okay and so was I. But I felt like my mind and body had betrayed me. I knew that I needed to rest both physically and mentally.
I didn’t listen and I kept plugging along my frenetic pace.
I could tell my body was not happy with me. Also, our family life was starting to feel the effects of my demands. After agreeing to too many things, I started to crumble with my words. It was a morning before church. I yelled at the kids and my husband incessantly on the morning before church. I felt like a huge hypocrite arriving at church that morning. One may say that was just a one time deal. But it kept happening. The next few days I yelled again at my children before school. I also forgot to consider my husband in an important decision I made. Our house was not peaceful and it was not a restful place to live.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14: 27
“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” I Corinthians 14:33
I finally broke down, realizing that my need to succeed, to do well, and to achieve what I wanted was hurting my family. The approval I was searching for was not what God wanted for me.
I knew He wanted me to rest. To learn how to rest. And I’m in the process of that right now. Trying to fight against the pull inside me to achieve, succeed, and gain approval from God, others, and even myself. Sometimes, rest to me feels almost like a punishment. God, you want to take me out of the game? I want to keep running for you Father. But He answers, “No. I love you and I want you to experience freedom in me. Trying to achieve is not what’s best for you. Rest in me.” As I’m learning to rest, I’m learning also that God wants to teach us some valuable lessons while we rest. Things we can’t learn if we are only concerned about delivering and achieving. I believe that rest is something we can do amidst our callings and commitments, our jobs and our families.
Resting is not sitting in front of the giant TV and watching trash. It’s not walking away from our commitments. It could be, but does not have to be, taking a vacation.
Rest can happen in the midst of wherever we are.
I’m prayerfully, and Lord willing, going to cover a few of topics on rest over the next few weeks. Here are the subjects we are going to talk about.
We need to rest in God, not apart from God. Resting is not separate from God. It is possible to rest in Him as we care for our families and for those around us.
How is God calling you to rest?
Lord, you say that we can ask for wisdom from you. Would you teach us how to rest and let go of the things that will not fill us? Will you teach us to find our strength in you when we become weary? In Jesus Name, Amen.