Chapter 11: Rest Well
Do you remember those times when you walked into a room and felt you did not belong? No one there looked like you, dressed like you, talked like you. You entered and immediately wanted to go the other direction. People feel that way with their jobs. People feel that way in relationships. People feel that way in school. People feel that way in church. People might even feel that way when alone.
Often, when we feel that way, we offer busyness as one of our many at- tempts to deny or defeat those fears. We hurry one direction, then suddenly shift to pursue another direction, while mentally being in many places at once. Short attention. Poor communication. Unstable emotions. Shallow relationships. Filling our minds and schedules. Ridding ourselves of rest and peace. Busy equals better, we guess. Full agendas are our agendas.
Asking, “Why am I here?”
Thinking, “I don’t belong here.” Working, like the world is totally dependent on us and like God’s love is totally dependent on our work.
Fixating, like we must keep doing more to be able to keep doing more.
We might feel that way with God. Especially if we come from a strict, firm, harsh, judgmental, condemning church background. These people who are supposedly trying to lead us toward Jesus are, instead, often pushing us firmly toward a creature who is nothing at all like Jesus. So, we work. And work hard to work our way toward what? Rest? Retirement? Reassurance that we have value? Too often we are working our way toward a fictional approval.
Though internal or external voices might shout to us about what all we must do, I pray we change channels. I hope to start hearing an invitation to the still, calm waters of grace. I dream of us grasping the declaration of God’s love hitting play over and over in our brains.
Because of that, there’s an invitation. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Approach God’s throne. His throne of grace. Pursue that place, that Person, that environment, that altar, that closet, that confession with confidence. Like walking toward a place you’ve been before, where you know the way in. Like diving in that pool where you know the water’s temperature. Like sitting in a grandfather’s lap knowing he’ll tell you a story while you eat chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-ice-cream. Like running to see a father you’re sure will welcome your invasion.
Approach. Approach God’s throne. Approach God’s throne of grace. Approach God’s throne of grace with confidence. That is a different type of effort. Not about us and who we are and what we can do. Just approach. Move toward. Carrying no luggage of sweat or accomplishments.
What will God give us? What will our Father hand us as He holds us? Mercy. Grace. Mercy. Grace. Mercy. Grace. Let’s enter. Let’s receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
God’s mouth states truth. His words bring life. God’s eyes see everything. His view reveals reality.
God’s hands hold us. He invites us to approach His places of grace and receive His mercy.
Amid the uneven surfaces of our days, we need that life, that reality, that grace, that mercy.
The next time you ask, “Why am I here?,” remind yourself that God is at work in you and through you to do great things.
The next time you think, “I don’t belong here,” remind yourself that God has called you for such a time as this. The next time you work, remind your- self that the world is not totally dependent on us and God loves you even when you nap.
The next time you are fixated on doing more and doing better, remind yourself the work God has already done.
- How much sleep do you normally get each night?
- If that should change, are you willing to do what is necessary to change it?
- Do you ever take naps?
- If not, are there times you can schedule brief naps?