We all resist rest when our nerves get stretched. When our mental capacity has reached its limit. We’re bent over, almost breaking like a branch heavy with apples needing picking. Another hour, 2 more things, after this. Until our limbs quake with the weight of one more.
Finished another draft of the memoir I’ve been writing since I can’t remember when. I sent it off to the editor like a kid hoping for an A on a paper. It was handed back with tons of notes and loads of sorely needed encouragement.
My soul crying, Rest. But my need to be finished, my want to put away what has brought pain, heartache, and hard-won healing rushed me into diving back in.
My heart rate started skipping. I felt run over by perfection begging for my attention—a whole harvest of fruit still needing picking, pruning, digging up, and watering.
One hundred and fifty pages, days, weeks, months of our precious life, on any given day, can feel like one too many.
Sometimes it feels like we’re getting nowhere, but maybe we just need to be right here.
When my back spasms, I give it rest. Ice packs, Advil, no lifting, no bending. When my nervous system begs for mercy, I give it lip. Sluffing off its need to relax, recline, heal—take the swelling down. Here’s a serious pill that needs swallowing: no part of us carries more weight than our God-made sensitivities pulsing straight down our middle. The part of us that’s always forgotten, left to suffer when it’s no doubt our highest calling.
What would happen if we didn’t rest that back spasm? More pain, right? Let it radiate long enough and we can park our shoes for a long winter’s nap. Nobody wants that, so we rest. We’re adamant about caring for our back, legs, feet, hands. We condition our hair and pamper our nails. But what attention is given to our anxious mind? When does our soul rejuvenate?
When our Sensitivity System gets maxed out, what happens? We’re easily angered, under or over eating, can’t sleep, worried, anxious, can’t think straight. And we question, “Why depression?” “Why is everything hurting?”
God’s hand has fashioned us for rest.
We’re not battery operated—we’re sensitive image bearers. Choices like love and hate, give and take flow through our veins. We don’t survive on instinct—we thrive on mercy. We grieve loss, celebrate life. We feel rejection, crave affection. Treating our mind like a multi-functioning appliance—we’ll expire a whole lot faster. And not in a disposable way, a bloody one.
Our Sensitivity System is wired to God in heaven. When we worry and hurry our beautification in the Son starts wilting. Jesus said it, “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 6:34) (MSG) [emphasis mine.]
How do we keep from getting worked up? Rest. Recline our mind in the company of God. When we rest our mind in God through prayer, or contemplating scripture with Him—our soul sits by still waters.
A memoir, a move, the project, the complaint, the mail, dinner, laundry—all of that can wait. Get soul rest first. Our mind needs reminding: “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” (Ps 94:19) Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” (Ps 116:7) Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own.” (1 Cor 6:19)
Prayer has always been challenging for me, that’s why I love praying the scriptures!
Open it! It’s for you!