What if resting in God isn’t an escape from pain but a posture we take through the pain?
When mom and dad died I had this supernatural fight in me to stay faithful to God and grounded in His truth (in spite of what my eyes were seeing). Girl, I put on that full armor of God and I went to battle every single stinkin’ day (Ephesians 6). I fought hard and I fought well by God’s grace. While many were questioning God, I had laser focus on what was eternally important. The fight got long, excruciating and exhausting but I saw God’s grace all over the place reminding me, “I’m still here” and that’s why I could take another step. I guess you could say my fight was to see Him and not the reality that was in front of me, which screamed “hopeless”.
Time went on and I got to move out of this constant place of war and into a place of rest but I don’t know what to do with it. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever known how to rest in God. I feel like a baby whose mom switches from milk to actual food for the first time and I’m saying to God, “what on earth am I supposed to do with this?! Why do I want to change what I’ve been doing, especially since it’s been of help to me? I’m scared to rest in You. What if you allow more pain? I’ve rested before and look what happened? Why are you calling me to rest when all I know is to fight?” As I kick and scream He gently reminds me that my fight morphed into fear and anxiety and my trust in him has turned into doubt of His goodness for me. I’ve been a proclaiming Christian for a long time but have I ever really known what it means to rest in God? If I’m not resting in Him, am I really trusting Him? There is a broken belief about Him, and I don’t know where the break happened. Naturally, in true Maria form of wanting to take control, I try to find the break so I can go back and fix but I can’t. Plus, every time I do attempt to fix the break, fear wells up and you can find me crying (quite literally) and screaming NO! Here’s the deal, our broken beliefs about who God is can NOT be fixed by us and must be fixed by Him. In my failed attempts to fix what is broken, I’ve exchanged his gift of rest for fear and worry and I need a Savior. Sometimes, I’m such a mess there is nothing I can do but keep the posture of calling out, confessing, repenting and asking “please Lord, not again…not another tragedy. Please don’t teach me about your goodness like that again.” I wait and I trust that He is faithful and able to do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine being that someday, I will know what it means to rest in Him as I stay faithful. I can’t do this one on my own, I can’t save myself from my unbelief but He can and I trust He will.
Lord, help us not to return your good gifts of grace in exchange for anxiety, fear, and worry of the unknown. You are a good God and I ask that you show me just how good you are. Help me know what it means to receive your good gifts yet to still hold loosely to this world.
His Word covers our “what ifs…”
2 Timothy 1:7 “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.”
James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Colossians 3:2,3 “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
Philippians 1:29 “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him …”
Learning to rest in Him & lean into His goodness,