The past couple of months have been a wild ride. I moved into a new house in September, started a new job in October and have been running around like crazy during all the time in between.
I feel like I haven’t given myself a moment to take a breath and truly sink into my surroundings. I’ve been occupied with making everything in my life perfect. Having a perfect house, being the perfect small group leader, being perfect at my job. It is a constant demand I put on myself. Day by day goes by and I beg myself for nothing less than perfect.
I’m always analyzing. Trying to figure out where I’ve fallen short. I become consumed with the voices in my head, telling me to try harder, do better, be better.
Sometimes it takes a serious slap in the face for me to realize this constant chase is not living. To remember that I was created to love and serve, but also to rest in the hands of a sovereign Creator.
For as long as I can remember I’ve tricked myself into believing this lie: I can’t spend time resting when there is so much out there I could, and should be doing.
Recently I agreed to stay with some kids from my church while their parents went on a cruise. The week I stayed with the family was like any other week in my life (with the added challenge of being responsible for two other humans).
But my body and soul began to grow weary. I became so aware of the amount of the amount of time I had been shunning rest over the past few months.
Over this week, I would see the Lord speak dramatically but oh so gently to me. Calling me into deeper rest. One morning I was reading in 2 Thessalonians and came across this verse, ” We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy, they are busybodies.”
At the moment it felt like it was meant just for me. I began to reflect on how much of my time was spent moving, running, but not actually being productive. How much of my worth did I base on how busy I was? WHat would it look like for me to rest alone in who Jesus is?
Minutes later I closed my Bible and rushed the little one to get his shoes on so we could leave for school. As soon as we left the house I went back to my normal routine: constantly planning out what was next. After school drop off, I would head to work, and I hoped I didn’t run into traffic because I didn’t want to be late to work, and after work, I needed to do this. It never stops.
Later that day, I got the slap in the face I needed. It had been a long day and I was frustrated for a reason I can’t even remember right now. I was driving this little boy in my backseat, a boy so full of joy, so content with playing a game and repeating “You’re so silly,” to himself over and over.
I was thinking about everything that had been left undone, or needed fixing when all of a sudden something beautiful happened.
I was on Spotify and a song that I didn’t recognize was playing. All at once I heard the lyrics “through darkness there came a light”, and the boy in the backseat was laughing his head off, and saying “so silly, so silly” and my eyes began to fill with tears.
My, child, you are being so silly, the Lord whispered to me. I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full. This constant running is not the abundant life I desire for you. Stop running, stop striving. I am enough. I came to bring you out of the darkness and into my glorious light. I came that you would be filled with joy, love, and kindness.
I felt immediately convicted of how much time I had spent over the past few months trying to perfectly align everything in my life. Seemingly forgetting that God was here all along working in ways I couldn’t even imagine. I turned the music louder.
“While we were sinners and lost you walked among us. While we were too weak to stand, you bore our cross,” rang out from my radio.
I was reminded of how Jesus, perfect and spotless, bore my cross to set me free. Free from all the running and performing. I thought about Jesus’ words in Matthew, about coming to him and resting in his easy yoke.
All I have to do is rest in Him. He can give me rest.
I took a peek at the boy in the backseat. He was unruffled with the traffic that had been driving me crazy, or the rain or the cold weather that I had most definitely complained about earlier in the day. He was smiling ear to ear.
I was smiling too.