Resting begins when you realize you are right where God intends you to be. Seek His presence in that place.
I’m paraphrasing something I read this week in Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling. But isn’t that exhilarating? Doesn’t it make you tremble a little bit? The possibility of what that means should travel up your spine like electric current, charged and sharp. I don’t know where you are this week, but I know where I’ve been. I’ve been swaying on that eternal teeter-totter called “freaking out.” I say swaying because the battle has been ON this week– the battle to stay in that resting place, the battle to seek God’s peace and pursue it.
I don’t like what I can’t control. Listen to me, broken record that I am, I’ve said this many times. But who does enjoy what they can’t control? I don’t think I’ve met anyone that does. Oh, there are some who manage their reactions well, but given the choice of deciding something and seeing it through to the “T” that you envision in your mind, I think you would choose seeing it through the the last “T.” I don’t think you would choose the wrench or the deviation or even the uncertainty of deciding to do something while the outcome of it, you can’t even imagine.
Here’s what I like: I like to say to God: “God, this is how I see it. I’m asking for this. I want this. Please, give it to me.” and here’s what I like to see happen afterwards: “Oh, Kate, you asked for that. Here it is. In a bow, no less.”
Now here’s what I know: What I want isn’t always what God wants. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways,” declares the Lord, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
So, little control freak that I am, knowing that what I want out of any given situation may not be what God wants for me…. I freak out. Or sway on that dangerous teeter-totter, listing closer to the abyss that is losing my peace. I’ve visited that hole before. I don’t want to go back.
Here’s how I’ve managed it this week: When that feeling comes, when I think of that thing that strains my sanity and stirs up my fears and insecurities, I’ve been saying: “Here, God, I give you this… I give you this memory… I give you this hope… I give you this imagined disappointment (because, let’s face it, half of the tragedy we put ourselves through is imagining tragedy that hasn’t happened and never will happen)… I give it all to you.” And then if that isn’t enough (in the battle against those pesky feelings that like to get me feeling all unseated before my God), I pull out the verses. I’ve memorized quite a few these last couple of weeks because the battle for my peace has RAGED. But battling has been worth it.
“You have said: ‘Seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, Lord, do I seek.'” (Psalm 27:8) And just that whisper to my errant heart that wants to look elsewhere, that wants to look at myself in pity because my plans aren’t going just so and because life isn’t how I’ve built it up to be in my head… just that whisper, and I feel the scales of strain flake away. Maybe one fleck at a time, but even a fleck is progress to a heart that’s been scaly with stress for too long.
Too many times I’ve tried to cling white-knuckle-tight to things that matter to me so deeply and yet rip me up inside, because I feel that if I let go, even loosen my grip, that thing will be lost. And I will be left empty. Let me say, to myself and to you, God will never let you lose those things you were meant to have, but whatever it is that is testing your peace and your rest, He wants to hold onto it for you. His hands are much gentler than our worries ever can be. Let it go to God.
Do not be cast down, O my soul! God is your hope and your redeemer. Hope in Him. Trust in Him. Those praises you’ve been singing, they will rise again, and He will amaze you.
“O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.”