June 6, 2007

This shouldn't be so hard.

In Psalm 46 there’s a verse that says, “Be still and know that I am God.” It can also be translated, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” For two years I’ve sensed that’s what God wants for me. In the midst of packing a house to move. In the midst of meeting people, hunting for work, walking Muttolah, doing all the little things to get through a day: rest.

You’d think that would be good news, right? What does the God who made the Universe want from you? Rest. OK! Sign me up, right? Yet it’s been a huge challenge. I’ve avoided it far more than I’ve obeyed that gentle tug. Why?

On Sunday I realized again why it’s so hard. I decided to do ‘house church’. Literally. Just me and God at home. It started at 10 am. I played a worship CD which includes a song that repeats, “You give and take away, you give and take away, yet my heart will choose to say, ‘Blessed be your name’.” I had to play that song a couple times as I cried and yelled at the Lord. Somehow rest implies acceptance and part of me doesn’t want to accept my life. On the surface it’s great, right? I’ve got a career, a husband who loves me, a mutt with a great personality, plenty of money for our needs but not so much that it owns us, a great place to live, blah blah blah. But it’s not what I dreamt for myself. I don’t want to rest here. I want God to get a move on and move me toward my dreams. Rest = death in my head.

Yet after the emotional storm, I felt really happy and peaceful. I moved out to our little balcony and sat in a deck chair, feet up, facing the trees that line the back parking area. This is what I journaled as I sat there:
It’s so true, Lord. In order to rest in You I have to battle through, or at least feel through, this sea of emotions. Let that salt bath cover me so I can rise from its wet embrace to sit quiet on the shore. Until I wade into those waters, I run around on the boardwalk, window-shopping and playing games to grab a pretend rest and avoid myself. Exhausted at the end of the day by my efforts. This silence after the storm is thick with golden quiet and tender motion. I am embraced by peace and can finally hear the whispers of Your affection.

At the moment, I'm liking 'rest'.


Snickollet said...

Thank you for sharing this. I struggle with resting, too. Sometimes I don't want to take the time to feel everything that I need to feel--I keep busy to avoid things that simmer below the surface. It's affirming to read about the peace that can come after letting those feelings come to the surface.

scarp said...

Very thought provoking...especially while I am in a place of possibly needing to wait for something longer than I would like...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing OTR, what a wonderful post to read, I think all of us feel it in a certain way.

My shrink said to me a few weeks ago, "do you think you fill your plate up so much with things so you won't really have time to 'FEEL' much of anything" I poo-poohed her at the time, but I'm beginning to see her point.

Good for you girl! I feel so good for you right now!

Lots of love,

Rachel said...

Great post. You're right that sometimes rest is harder than busying ourselves with meaningless tasks. I am glad you were able to find peace.

Anonymous said...

Rest is hard sometimes. I consider resting in God and His provision for me a form of spiritual warfare in which I declare to my own soul the character of God is good. Praying you find a rest-rhythm that is full of grace.