Be Still

Well, I’m sad to report that it has been almost a month since I last posted. #fail. I’ve gotten sidetracked by life and this little thing called college.

In reality, I guess I tend to avoid writing when I feel like my spiritual life is…..chaotic. That’s how I’ve been feeling lately-busy and chaotic. This is how my weird mind pictures it: God is sitting on his throne and rather than me sitting at his feet, all I can do is run in circles around him trying to pray for this person, pray about that situation, understand this circumstance, seek wisdom concerning that decision,  deal with this anxiety, surrender that doubt, and the list goes on.

I’m not saying that a long prayer list is bad but when that list becomes consuming and burdensome, all that running around becomes exhausting.

I think I typically underestimate the need to rest. When I entered college last year, I developed the mindset that rest was bad.  I felt that if I was getting more than 6 hours of sleep I wasn’t studying enough. So, like any other college student, I sacrificed a good nights sleep for the sake of doing school work and maintaining good grades. I quickly learned to drink coffee and appreciate caffeine. A year later, and I still tend to forget that rest is something God sees as good. God rested on the seventh day of creation. Jesus rested in the boat with the disciples. Jesus took breaks from his ministry to rest.

More than physical rest, I think God desires for us to seek spiritual rest and to be still before his throne. Sometimes I feel like God is looking at me saying, “Can you just slow down for a sec?  Just stop and look at me. I’ll take care of it.” Or as scripture puts it, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

So why is it so hard to put the brakes on? I know that for me, I typically feel restless and burdened when I insist on maintaining control over my own problems and circumstances. 1 Peter 5:7  says, “Cast all your anxiety on him for he cares for you.” It seems like it is necessary to surrender before we can really be at rest. 

I’m pretty sure the Lord has been flashing this idea of rest in my face for a while now. I have been making my way through Hebrews and last week I read in  chapter 4,

“2.For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them,

because it was not united by faith in those who heard. 3For we who have believed enter that rest…”

Christians can enter into rest because of the Gospel and the grace of God. We can rest in him knowing that we are saved and our lives are in his hands.

A few days later I read Psalm 91:1 which says, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” If you are a child of God, you have the King of the Universe watching over you and caring for you. We can rest in his sovereignty, grace, and might.

And as if two reminders weren’t enough reason to rest in God, the song “Here” by Kari Jobe was the first song to play on my Pandora station during my quiet time the other day. The bridge of the song consists of one line: “I will rest in you.”

One benefit of resting and being still before God is that when we do so, we can better fix our eyes on him.  In my experience, when I choose to rest in God, and surrender my worries and concerns to Him, I can be go before Him without distractions and other things competing for my attention. I can be still in his presence and worship him for who he is and what he has done rather than what I would like him to do.

I know this blog was short, but it’s a simple idea. We don’t need to feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders when we have the option of surrendering our burdens to Christ and resting in the peace that only he can offer.

Try to rest and be still this week. Don’t just look for physical rest (although I am definitely sitting on the couch right now eating pop-tarts and avoiding homework) but seek spiritual rest.

“Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.”

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