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