I’ve been involved in this lovely study on rest and rhythms and I just want to share this one little nugget of wisdom, “rest proceeds blessing.” I just cannot affirm that truth enough and the lessons I’ve been learning around that concept for the past few years.
Our Western culture can be so, “strive, strive, strive, make it happen.” And it’s like, nothing ever seems to come together right! I used to be a bit like Martha in the Bible, I’m doing all this stuff, working like crazy but there’s no harvest. I’m just making myself miserable, and no one will even help.
I once got into a major debate with a church reader board that said, “you reap what you sow.” Nope, absolutely not! I was sowing tons more than I was reaping. In fact, nearly every relationship in my life was so totally one sided, I could actually hear the giant sucking sound of stupid running in the background. Than even my paychecks actually started bouncing. I was really doing everything right and nothing was working out, for years.
Somebody smart once told me, Sheep don’t strive. They just rest in the care of the Shepherd.
That was a major revelation. Absolutely true. Rest in His grace. Rest at His feet. Make your petitions known to Him and then relax. Trust that He’s got this thing. Rest in the care of the Shepherd.
Rest proceeds blessing. That can be really counter intuitive. Doesn’t feel right. I drive my hubby nuts sometimes when I say, the Lord will provide. I’m not just talking about money either, but in terms of everything. Hubby’s a type A, major OCD, planner-of-all-things. Make sure you have all your ducks in a row. I keep trying to tell him, but we don’t even have ducks!
That’s a really good thing, not having ducks. How do I know the Lord will provide with such confidence and certainty? Because I’ve had to. There was no other option, no plan B to fall back on. He does too, He provides. Everything we have, He provides. We can get really deceived in the West, falsely believing that we have what we have because we are talented. Smart. Industrious. Deserving. Good looking. Not lazy. Because we make good choices.
Nope. Everything we have is because the Lord provides. The moment He stops providing the breath in our body, our “smart, industrious, good choices” go right out the window.
So hubby just got a really good report from the doctor. He’s healing up well, he’s going to be okay. Praise the Lord for that! Just the same he darn near killed himself just from being a type A, major OCD, planner-of-all-things, who just cannot rest. I empathize with that, I’m a bit of a go getter myself, a recovering Martha. He wins the title hands down, but there is still enough of me in that mindset that I recognize it well.
I often annoy hubby when I say, “the Lord will provide,” in part because I am right. This is not pie-in-the-sky-wishful thinking. I actually mean, the Lord will make a way. The Lord will light the path before us. The Lord will make it all work out. The Lord will show us what to do. The Lord will handle it.
It’s not that you just ignore your problems or go play video games, although even those things are probably far more productive then wearing a hole in the carpet from pacing around, or just endlessly banging your head on a brick wall of self reliance. I’ve watched people practically tear their house apart trying to find their keys. Often it’s far more productive to just sit down and rest. I did this once and spotted my keys across the room, hanging from a lamp.
Rest proceeds blessing. Every single time. The more I rest in His goodness, the clearer I see the truthiness of this truth. When my kids were small they would be all wound up sometimes, tired, cranky, anxiety ridden about not getting the right spoon or the princess cup. A few times I had to say, we’re not getting lunch until everyone settles down. You just can’t receive it in the state you are in. I think the Lord is a bit like that, too. Calm down, be still, and trust in my goodness, so I can bless you.
If we aren’t at rest, if we’re anxiety ridden or trying to do it all ourselves, our actions reveal we are not really trusting in His goodness. If we are not trusting in His goodness, we won’t be able to see it when it arrives.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” -Hebrews 11:1