find rest in unrestful circumstances

Posted in faith

How can I have rest in the midst of a bunch of “unrestful” activity?

I ask this of my kind husband who is an Olympic sound board for my daily external processing.

I go on to describe habits of thought that find roots in my introvertism. I spend a large portion of mental capacity thinking about what’s ahead. It is this desire to feel prepared, to ‘gear myself up’ as I often say, and feel confident about what is expected of me that leads to an angsty lack of true soul rest.

I pose the above question to my husband because I want to be sure awareness of self remains beneficial but doesn’t detract from living as God calls me to in His Word.

“Quit thinking about it,” he says [kindly] as if it is the most obvious answer.

I smile and nod, knowing I’ll need to sit with God and this newfangled idea for a few days to genuinely agree with him. I do, and the result is SWEET.

We can never know truly how a situation will play out. We can also never know how we’ll respond and feel in a circumstance until we’re there. You wouldn’t worry about mile 6 before you’ve even begun mile 1. Often, we can’t know exactly how we would or should handle a situation until we’re smack in the middle of it. Common sense, right? Mmm, evidently not so common for this human.

We carry unnecessary tension when we A, try to be omniscient as God is, or B, don’t trust Him to provide what we need. It’s a lack of dependence on God that kills any chance of rest in the midst of an unrestful circumstance. It’s a lack of trusting His nature that prompts my worrying about tomorrow. Each day has enough trouble of its own, says Matthew 6:34.

I can’t know all that is coming or whether I’ll feel ‘enough’ for it, but He knows, and He is enough. (Bonus: His “enoughness,” His provision and presence is already inside me with His indwelling Spirit. I don’t have to reach far for it.) Reality is, I have better access to the all-sufficient God who can accomplish anything than I do the chance to feel confident for what the next hour brings.

If God has put his Spirit within you, here is a friend more than all earth can give and, oh, he is within you. He is the Spirit of truth, ask him for light. He is the Comforter, ask for comfort. Unbosom everything to this indwelling Friend. Robert Murray M’Cheyne

He says — I’ll give you words to say (Luke 12:1-12). I’ll be your strength (Isaiah 40:28-31, Isaiah 33:2, 2 Corinthians 12:10). I’ll be your wisdom (James 1:1-8, Isaiah 33:6). I’ll be by your side the entire time (Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 46:3-4, Zephaniah 3:17). Don’t worry, I care for you (1 Peter 5:6–7, Psalm 25:8-11, Psalm 27:1, Lamentations 3:25). It’s okay if you don’t feel able, I’ll help you (Isaiah 41:10, Hebrews 13:6, Psalm 37:23-24).

I write in my journal:

I want to abide with you in the hour I’m in. I want to practice inviting You into the moment, the need, the conversation, the task. I want to lean into Your Spirit, and cultivate a sensitivity to what You might be doing that I don’t know about. I want to joyfully live relying on You first, not myself, to be enough for whatever comes.

Soul rest in an unrestful hour, day, week, or season is accessible when we acknowledge His Spirit in us and practice total dependence.

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. Matthew 6:33-35 The Message

Clothe Yourself With Wisdom: Christine

Posted in faith

Wisdom: A word that can be hard to define, especially in the culture that we currently live in.

Lately, I have been considering what it means to be “wise in the sight of God,” or how to differentiate between godly wisdom and worldly wisdom. Recently I was promoted to a leadership role at my job, and I have found myself seeking God about what it means to be a godly servant leader. One thing God is showing me is that servant leadership requires seeking Him for wisdom in humility. In light of this, my question is “what does godly wisdom look like?”

First, Read the whole third chapter of the book of James for context. Let’s focus on the last few verses, specifically James 3:13-18:

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

God was providing a prescription for what it looks like to have godly wisdom vs worldly wisdom! Try rereading James 3:17, but insert the opposite of each word to build a stark contrast in meaning:

Godly wisdomWordly wisdom
PureSelfish ambition, jealous, impure
PeaceableChaotic, anxious
GentleMean, merciless
Open to reasonClosed to reason, selfish, does insist on its own way
Full of mercyFull of legalism, full of wrath
Good fruitsRotten fruits
SincereFalse, dishonest, boasting

Based off this contrast, it is easier to differentiate between godly wisdom and worldly wisdom. Wisdom from above is peaceful (James 3:17) while worldly wisdom is chaotic and disorderly (James 3:18). Also, to answer the question, “what does godly wisdom look like?” let’s look to Proverbs 9:10: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”  The Hebrew of this word “fear” is yir’ah which means (of God) to respect, revere and be pious towards. Fearing the Lord means having a reverent, fearful awe of the almighty God.

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Recent Reads

Posted in books
Recent Reads |

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

A creative retelling of the story of the prodigal son, this book was difficult to put down once I got a few chapters in. Not being at all musically inclined, I enjoyed the theme of the power of music throughout this book, from tent revivals and simple piano to concerts at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

“We’re all broken, all walk with a limp. Here is the truth about you and me: even when in a far-off country, wasted life, stripped bare, smeared, squandered, nothing but scar tissue and shameful, self-inflicted wounds, the love of the Father finds the son and daughter.” 

Unsupermommy by Maggie Combs

Basic premise: you don’t have to be a superhero to do all that God has placed before you to do when you rely on said all-sufficient, all-powerful God. I enjoyed Maggie’s challenges to my tend-to-take-on-all-the-expectations heart, but I especially enjoyed how practical her wisdom was.

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