“And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, in quiet resting places.”- Isaiah 32:17-18, emphasis mine
Doesn’t that sound nice? Residing in a quiet resting place? When I think of a secure dwelling, so often I think of a huge house, with thick walls, a basement, founded on tall posts in case any harsh weather came around. It’s funny; these false securities we have set up in our minds. The truth is, nothing on this earth is really safe. The world we live in has proven that there are no promises for security in our earthly lives, no matter what false gods we set up. So many times, we spend our moments micromanaging our days to attempt to make sure that things turn out the way we desire. Money and resources give us all the more false confidence that we have, in fact, succeeded- such false, pseudo-control we sometimes that that we have. When the unexpected creeps up, however, we are left grasping at the air; for all of our efforts do not change the fact that at the end of the day, we know it’s true: we are not in control of our own lives after all.
I certainly have a micromanaging nature- I always have. It started at a young age when I would line up my stuffed animals on my bed each day and then take them off and place them in a comfortable place each night. I know that sounds bizarre- actually, I know that it is- but it’s the way I have always been. Since the girls have been born, I guess you could say that I have given myself an excuse to be a micromanager. There are so many things that I do on a daily basis that center around managing. Let it be known that there is a difference between being a manager and being the controller. Recently, God has made me all the more aware of the anxiety and stress that I allow to rule different parts of my day. It has stung; but the good kind of sting that leads to Him in the end. I have had to ask myself several times in the past couple weeks: what am I putting under the label of, “have to” that is really just my excuse to gain some control? To put it bluntly: what would happen if I stopped micromanaging some things and just trusted in His Perfect Management of all? Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about the wise things that are just required for twins who have special needs in order to give them the best care. I am speaking of those little things I do- we do- to attempt to control our circumstances.
For instance- the girls have recently started gagging practically every time a bite of puree hits their mouths- even if it is a food they tend to enjoy. I blow on their foreheads to distract them, squeeze their tiny toes, bring in a toy to try and switch the focus; I have the whole routine perfected. Yet, you have to think: what if I quit? My initial thought is that they would vomit every meal. So, what would that mean? Well, I guess we would have to talk to our physicians and nutritionist about changing the plan to having them not eat by mouth anymore? And then what? It seems that then, the girls would be more content and the micromanaging could cease. Maybe not my plan; but potentially God’s best that I am refusing to accept out of a desire to want MY way, my picture.
Friends, there are some things that we are called to prepare for, to plan, to work through. There are other things that if we take a step back and are really honest, we are flat out fighting the ways the Lord desires to give us His very best. If I am struggling to piece together my days with things that just aren’t working, in a sense, I am saying, “God, I know it seems as if you think this way is the right way; but I actually disagree. So, I am going to do everything in my power to fight against it.”
Doesn’t sound too restful, does it?
In fact, it sounds-is– quite exhausting.
Furthermore, I think we find ourselves mad at those around us when we are trying to control our environment. Either we feel as if they are missing the flow of things in the kingdom WE have set up, or they are a constant reminder that we are going against the grain for the way things might be meant to be. They are in the way of OUR plan and they are messing everything up.
Anybody feel me here?
“…The Lord will speak to this people, to whom He has said, ‘This is rest; give rest to the weary…yet they would not listen.”- Isaiah 28:12
While this was spoken to the Israelites years ago, I have seen a lot of myself in their rebellious, impatient tendencies. I believe God has a word for each of us today, and it goes something like this:
Beloved: THIS is rest. Whatever I have in front of you today- however far from rest it might seem to you- this is rest. I offer you my peace, my presence, MYSELF, in whatever I have called you to walk in. You do not have to fight what I have planned for you; simply let go and trust that I know what I am doing; even when things don’t look like you would have planned. I know what I am doing and I have got this. Find your rest in me.
Friends, He is our rest. He is the God that says, “Come to me, all who are weary…” and promises rest for our souls in return. If we are feeling exhausted in the depths of who we are, might it be because we are not taking Him up on this offer?
Have you come to Him today not to ask Him for what you want but to give Him an, “Amen” for whatever comes to pass?
Therein lies true peace, true rest, true joy.
This world is not our home. In the midst of all things broken and beautiful, may we cast our cares in front of the throne in holy awe of what He has chosen to do with our little glorious lives. May we walk through each day with patient endurance; knowing whatever happens here has intricate purpose for all eternity. May we believe with the confidence only He can give that all of our moments are here for exact reason; and when we find our souls feeling weary, may we take ourselves directly to the throne room and pour out our anxieties on Him. Your neighbor may not be able take it day after day after day, but He can.
The One who chose to take on all the sins of all the world is worthy of all our praise and worship.
Jump off the hamster wheel of pseudo control and land gloriously into the arms of the One who controls all.
We can have an Eternal Resting Place, a Secure Dwelling, overflowing from within now and forevermore.
Him and Him alone.
A crown of life awaits.
“Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”- Revelation 2:10b
May we find true rest- no matter what comes to pass- today and everyday.