A four-letter word. So simple. So profound. So difficult for me to do.
I’m here. Sitting in bed. Typing on my laptop. Contemplating rest. . .
On the seventh day, the Creator God rested. On Sunday, we enjoy a sabbath, a day of rest. In Exodus, we’re commanded to keep that Sabbath holy. . . commanded to rest. In church, we are urged to “let go and let God,” to rest. At the end of the day, we get tired and sleepy and our bodies long for rest. Our hearts, filled with hope and fraught with doubt, grow anxious, yet St. Paul tells us to rest.
What does it mean to rest in the arms of the Savior? Why does David describe God as the Lord our shepherd who makes us to lie down, makes us rest in green pastures? What does it mean for Him to be our dwelling place, our refuge, our place of rest? What does He mean when He says that if we would only come, we would find rest? What does it mean to trust the Lord and “lean not on our own understanding” or rest not on our own understanding. . .to rest instead upon Him?
At present, I am very aware of the air flowing into my lungs as I inhale and flowing back out again as I exhale and my lungs are at rest. It’s a rhythm. A pattern. Perhaps, it’s God’s subtle way of teaching us truth.
Inhale. Exhale. Rest.
Heart contracts. Relax. Rest.
Sun up. Sun down. Rest.
Monday. Sunday. Rest.
I had lunch with a friend after church today. When she asked about what God was teaching me, I told her He was teaching me about rest. Whether being forced to slow down physically due to virus-induced bronchitis or finally seeing how futile my bent “to leave” in order to find life has been, the constant message to me is rest.
But rest involves trust.
And trust is difficult.
The questions flood my mind and overflow from my heart, spilling out in an abundance that will not be held back: All God wants me to be? All life could ever mean? All my hopes and my dreams? Where I live? Where I work? My family? My friends? But am I doing enough? Am I being enough? Am I doing the right thing? What about the next thing? How do I handle this great uncertainty? How do I rest? And how do I know if I’m resting enough? Will I reap the consequences for all those times I didn’t rest? Am I trusting You? Am I doubting You? Will these ridiculous thoughts keep weighing on me? Will I ever be who You want me to be. . .?
I pause. I listen. And He speaks.
“Lose control. Let go. Let Me.”
I humbly confess, “I want to. I’m trying. Help me.”
And no matter how often I fail, He reminds me again. . .
Breathe in. Breathe out.