Day 3: Those are some big arms

Last night was Day light savings time. Most people gained an hour of sleep. We are not exactly in the stage of our lives where we are gaining hours. Royce woke up at 5:45 thinking it was 6:45, even though usually she sleeps till 7:30. We aren’t in the restful stage of our lives. And that is fine with me, most days.

God has me thinking a lot these days about the idea of rest though. This idea keeps coming back to me, some times out of sheer necessity. I have mentioned that this has been one heck of a year, in a lot of ways I would not have requested. But one of the wonderful things that has come from this year is that I am learning to rest, really rest. I have always been a person who fiercly guards enjoys my down time and who is a basket case functions best on 10 8 hours of sleep. So I am no stranger to physical rest. Physical rest and I are buddies. We don't hang as much these days but we get reunited when we can. But this year, and especially in the past few months, God has been teaching me about really resting emotionally and mentally. He is teaching me about finding my rest not in my peaceful surroundings or stress free circumstances or clutter-free head space. He is teaching me about finding my rest in Him-even when all my surroundings and circumstances are uncertain, or crumbling and crashing around me. Something beautiful happens when I am really able to find that rest in the arms of my God. It is an amazing thought to me that the God who holds the universe in hands also holds me in His arms.

I have learned a bit about (and am still learning) what is means to “take (God’s) yoke upon me and learn from (Him).” (Matthew 11:29a) This is humbling and hard especially for some one who “enjoys” worrying and controlling. I am so bad at mental down time. Some times in my willful blindness I walk myself right into a brick wall. It takes having no where to go for me to realize where I should have been going all along. My thoughts are often like this. I allow my head to get spinning so fast it just might rocket off my neck . I throw up my hands because I just can’t do it on my own. God is so gracious though. He has given me these challenges that I can’t surmount or manage on my own. It might not seem like grace at first glance, but as I let God chip away at me I am able to call these circumstances, these struggles in my life, these weaknesses of mine for what they are:grace. They are grace because they point me away from myself and my own inabilities and they thrust me to God. There is grace in the hard stuff of life and grace in the arms of God. I am learning to see the grace in it all and I am learning to find my rest.

It is pretty incredible to me that God created rest in the first place. He knew that as humans we would have limitations-not just physical ones. He knew we would need to rest. He modeled it for us in Genesis 2:2. Yet before recently I had not allowed the implications of God creating, modeling and prescribing rest meant for me. It has taken me feeling completely weary and in many ways inadequate to be able to find my rest in Him, or maybe at better way of saying this would be: to allow myself to rest in Him. He was always there for the finding. I am learning what it means to rest in His care, rest in what He accomplished on the cross, rest in His promises, rest in his faithfulness, rest in His plan. When I am truly able to do this I can begin to understand what He means when He says His burden is light.

I recently read Lysa TerKeurst’s book “Unglued” (fab-u-lous) in which she spends a chapter writing about Sabbath rest and what that means for her. Today was the first day I implemented my own new version of Sabbath rest-not in a legalistic way, but in a rejuvenating, refreshing, renewing way. God created me for rest. He created me to find my sustenance, my salvation, my security all in Him. Oh, what a peace it brings-truly the peace that transcends understanding. (Philippians 4:7)

Today I am thankful for rest and for a God who not only created me with the need for rest, but  also provided the perfect rest for me in Himself. I am praying for those that I love and for myself that we allow ourselves to rest in God today. 

“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.” Matthew 11:28-30

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