Bone-tired, my husband and I turn off the lights, plop into bed, and wrestle with the blankets, snuggling into their softness. At that moment, I want a cold pillow and a comfy mattress to escape life-wearines. Bodies need rest… but so do souls. Our souls beg to shut out the noise and to seek for contentment, peace and respite. In descriptive language, God pictures our discomfort:
“The bed is too short to stretch out on,
the blanket too narrow to wrap around you.“(Is. 28:20).
Our soul has been short-sheeted.
Life gets overscheduled, and the soul gasps hard. Life interruptions take priority, and the soul is driven into the background until we have “some time.” But, “some time” never comes. We use all of our faculties to produce more because we can, but it is in quietness and rest that we receive. For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling. (Isaiah 30:15). Unwilling, because I prefer to do. Like a stubborn child, I want to do it myself, all by myself.
Jesus generously offers soul rest. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jesus speaks of His own heart as humble, full of gentleness, in stark contrast to the demanding treadmill of life that only shouts, “Run faster!” Jesus offers to teach life in Himself, so that rest is restored to the soul. Simply put, be doing everything, by doing nothing. This is the continual lesson of life to be learned anew at the dawning of morning light. To desire to use our own resources, strength, ingenuity, planning, and passions is our human default, yet it is in the laying down of our aresenal of self-determination and, in turn, patiently resting in quiet, but confident trust that we find true strength and power for daily success. Am I proud of one success? Do I wear a wide smile and a spirit of well-being about certain attainments? It is foolish not to seek the face of God, to think I can do life without Life. Oh, my weary soul, your meek and lowly Savior delights in overwhelming you with what your heart desires most when it is quietly satisfied in Him..
Pour forth your life-giving Spirit. Renew, refresh, restore.
Where there is floundering, bring flourishing;
where there is despair, bring delight;
where there is hopelessness, bring heart-encouragement—all for your glory.
We abandon ourselves to your promises and your faithfulness. (Scotty Smith)