Go and rest now

I believe deeply in surrounding myself with people who are going to tell me the truth, and I value deeply the friends who can identify patterns and neuroses in my life that aren’t God-honoring and who can lovingly call me out of myself.

They’re the friends who send texts with a verse in Psalms and say things like, “I don’t know what’s going on with you, but it will not prevail against you!” with sixteen exclamation points.

They’re the friends who let me yell and don’t take it personally, and who call after I’ve had a couple of days to cool off and say things like, “That was all you-focused.  Where’s God in what you’re thinking?”

They’re the friends who send long emails, saturated in kindness and grace, and who say things like, “I’ve been thinking about you all night…” and “…because you are your Father’s child, even as He was broken for us, maybe you feel a bit broken after all this too…” and “…If you feel wrung out and empty and a little bit broken, rest in your brokenness. Own it, as you say, and thank God for it, because He chose you to be a minister of His grace.”

They’re the friends who know when I’m stretching myself too thin and burning out because I’m serving from a want of self-gratification instead of a want for God’s glorification.

They’re the friends who are always, always looking out for me.

They’re the friends who are always, always helping me strive toward God.

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It’s a strange place I find myself in when the very thing I need to do to continue to strive toward God is…be still.

Since getting my friend’s email last weekend, which was so pointedly about the need to rest, I can’t shake the story of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26) out of my head.  I can’t shake the thought that in the midst of the hardest season of His human existence, Jesus took time to rest and pray and be with His Father.

Jesus was still.

He got down on knees, and He humbled Himself to the One who loves Him best and wants for His good. And He just got quiet.

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I wonder what it would look like if we started to rest and pray and be still in seasons of chaos and confusion and brokenness.

I wonder how it would change things if we stopped making plans and trying to figure out the best next step, convincing ourselves that it’s from God, and just got quiet.

I wonder what we’d hear.

I wonder what God could do with hearts filled less with anxiety and more with Him.

I wonder how it would change the Church, and my church, and myself.

This week, I’m giving myself permission to find out.

This is the time, my time, to go and rest now.

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