At this point the word seemed absurd. A task, a deadline, a duty constantly wrestled for her attention. The to-do list was infinite, and sleep was only on there because the darkness demanded it. At the end of the day her heart was content by what was finished, but already restless about what tomorrow held. Pressure lingered, waiting at the door.
Even her dreams were wild with imagination and action. The sun would rise and the to-do list would reappear with force, setting the body and mind into motion. In the next 24 hours every minute should yield some worth, some accomplishment, or at least some progress, was a mantra she was never conscious of but secretly a slave to.
Often she looked at the upcoming day with dread. Typing out emails and memos. Meeting with coworkers. Cordial coffee chats with friends, where her thoughts wandered to the church meeting at 4. Looking ever in the future, without contentment in the present.
She was at that church meeting now. And all eyes were turned on her. She hadn’t realized it until she took a quick glance up with her paper darkened with irrelevant notes.
Her writing slowed. What did they just say? The stares continued, faces furrowed with concern.
“Stacey,” said one woman, “Do you need rest?”
“Maybe a 30-minute power nap would be nice right now,” Stacey replied with a weary smile.
“No, we mean, are you at rest in God?”
After confusion flooded her heart, the truth made its mark.
Every second matters, but not for the reasons we think. Every second is not a matter of protecting our reputation, avoiding failure, or meeting expectations.
Every second is about the salvation work of Jesus Christ. In every second God is at hand, and every second His return comes closer.
Is our labor reflecting that fact? Do our daily attitudes depend on this? Are we resting in God’s sovereignty, or fighting for our false reality?
When we think of sin, or disobedience against God, do we think of the way we rest? For many, including myself, the evil act of self-sufficiency is the personal struggle. Self-sufficiency, in its tiresome attempt to master temporary pursuits, ignores the eternal gift of the cross. That Jesus Christ died to freely give us righteousness and a relationship with our Creator—all that we need.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 5:3
The “I can do it all” spirit turns into a self-centered, prideful pattern of thinking. It is a lifestyle where opportunities to serve others are missed in personal goals, and required service is done with bitterness. Having a busy-body spirit prevents you from depending on the Lord, leaving you with a restless and self-reliant heart.
I speak from my own experience. I’m asking the Lord daily to wipe away a self-absorbed, disobedient perspective, and to see the day as His. Everlasting rest will soon come, if only we walk by faith.
Feel free to join me in this morning prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Your ways are above my own, and I dearly trust them. This is Your day; let Your Will be done. How can I serve you today? Where should I go, to whom should I minister? Remove any worldly ambition, any remnants of self. Whatever is lacking in me, fill with the Spirit. Let me wait upon You, and be satisfied. Overwhelm me with the joy of Your salvation.
12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter (rest) because of unbelief.