There are way too many things out there waiting to rob us of our rest.
And sometimes there’s just no phrase, no words, no clichés that make the ordeal of being robbed of our rest better. Peace and quiet, no more noise, only calm is really needed in that moment.
Weary bodies and heads and hearts are constantly looking for a break.
Some peace perhaps.
Some quality sleep maybe.
The kind of rest where the head stops whirling, the moods stop swinging, the body finds some ease.
And am I desperate for everything to go right? So I pile on anxiety and stress? Or do I just need some honest to goodness downtime?
Where am I going to get some rest?
When am I going to find some rest?
The hardest times for me personally are when my mood disorder erases my body and my brain’s ability to shut down for some shut-eye. It just won’t come. I’m perpetually tired. And then, always sleeping later to catch up with the rest I lacked from before when the chronic D hits with this particular symptom.
This is no way to live, I think to myself. Nor is this any way to rest.
So there I am one day, on the verge of a sleepless meltdown of the worst variety and I’m crying out to God, baffled.
I don’t get this, Lord! I keep showing You my faith. I keep reading Your words. “Let all come to me who are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest…” Where’s the rest, the break, the miracle cure for this insomnia, instead of this rude awakening only to feel exhausted all day? I thought You wanted good things for me? I trying to have faith!
I might have cried a little. I might have whined a tad. I might have given Him a list of all the things I deserve after suffering for what I had deemed long enough.
And I placed it all right there, in my sleep-deprived stupor.
Between Him and I.
Which is exactly how our need for things, things even like rest, get in the way. Block our direct line of sight. Pile up.
And then we can’t tell where He is, or if He heard us.
And if He answered.
I’m thankful for a God who is bigger than any self-imposed barriers, aren’t you?
So there I am at 2 am, cranky and petulant and weary of battling yet another facet of my Dysthymia, and He reaches through all the stuff and I read these powerful and timely words in a book I had been doing a personal study with.
But the words blaze from the page, and blast right past my meltdown and make me sit up.
And I’m awake for a different reason.
“In the parable of the rich young ruler, the young man didn’t want God; he just wanted what God could give him. Many Christians don’t really care about God; they just use Him to get what they truly want… even the benefits of a relationship with God -forgiveness, love, redemption, grace, etc.- can be elevated to the place of God if we’re more concerned with getting those things rather than seeing those things as an avenue to God.”
– Jefferson Bethke, “Jesus > Religion”
I had been caught up in looking at my faith and my needs backwards.
I thought I deserved the rest I needed because I was believing in Jesus.
But it’s wrong, and backwards and fault-filled faith.
Real faith decides that I just need Jesus.Real faith decides that I just need Jesus. Click To Tweet
And only Jesus.
And when I ask for all of Him, in spite of what I lack, forgetting what I lack, He becomes the very thing I need, just by being Him.
Believing doesn’t afford me rest.
Believing affords me all of Him in my hour of need.
And there, in Him, is everything we require.
Rest is waiting for us at all times.
Rest’s name is Jesus.
Healing is waiting for us at all times.
Healing’s name? Is Jesus.
Grace and mercy are waiting for us at all times.
Yep, that’s Jesus too.
Strength. Endurance. Goodness. Love. Deliverance. Peace.
He alone fills every need.
It’s why you can say the most flowery, impressive prayer. Or you can just say the name, Jesus, and it’ll do the same thing.
“Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13
Does that take on new meaning for you too, or is it just me?
We apply that scripture within the context of a heart’s first conviction. That initial salvation. That first precious giving up and giving over.
But look at your week. How many times did you call on Him to rescue you?
Yeah. Me too.
The amazing revelation floored me.
It changes how I find rest again.
It changes how I see faith from here on out.
It changes how I live through the hairy upside-down days.
It changes how I define Jesus inside the hairy upside-down days.
And I’ve said before that He is enough, but this changes the how.
We think that because He is enough, He’ll offer us what we need, maybe even when we need it, as long as we have faith, even a little faith, of the wobbly variety. But we can’t even place that faith inside the things we get from Him, as Jefferson so truthfully put it, in holy relationship.
He stands ready for us to just need Him, and Him alone, and He does the rest.
I lay my head on a pillow. A pillow that used to be my enemy.
And I just say His name. And I may or may not sleep…
But I have His presence.
And with His Presence I find what I’m looking for.
Because my Rest is there.
Going by the name “above all other names”, the name Jesus.
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