My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
This is a Word of Truth. My soul finds rest in God alone. Not in my accomplishments. Not in striving, or in busyness, or in productivity. But in God alone. In HIM.
Living in Him can involve a very busy lifestyle. But if it involves a day of going off book, resting and talking to Him, that should be okay, because HE is my fortress, not my routine. My busyness and productivity are not my fortress.
This morning I woke up feeling sicker than I have yet. I’ve been sick with a virus since late Saturday, and woke up with a pounding head, horrible throat, stuffed nose, and sneezing. When I stood up, I felt so lightheaded. One of those wicked colds that just means you should rest.
But, as always when I feel sick, I tried to pretend I wasn’t. I got up and made my usual coffee, which burned and pained my throat. I tried to eat breakfast, but swallowing made my eyes well up with pain, so all I could get down was a smoothie. Still, I thought I’d make it to class. Until I talked to Jesus. Or maybe I didn’t initiate it– in fact I think He did.
Why aren’t you okay with resting? You’re in Me. Come to Me. Rest in Me.
I felt scared. I heard the lies immediately:
You have to go to class for this day to mean something. You have to be productive and complete your to-do list for this day to mean something.
How do I know these are lies? Because GOD defines this day.
This is the day that the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. PSALM 118:24
It’s God’s day. It’s not mine. And God didn’t make my school schedule, nor did He write my to-do list. But He was allowing this sickness, and has recently been putting me in a rhythm that involves a lot less busy striving, and a lot more prayerful rest. And maybe He was trying to remind me that my significance doesn’t come from doing it all– but entirely in the ONE who GAVE IT ALL.
My roommate Mary helped me to put this in perspective. Having to cancel a work meeting and then deciding not to go to classes was tough, but, Mary reminded me, You’re really sick. You need bed rest, vitamins, to gargle with salt water, and to stop stressing.
And ah, how when I went back to my bed I was fast asleep so instantly, showing me just how vital rest was. I need to know that I need it. When I woke, I spent a lot of time in prayer. For Johnny; for my roommates; over this semester; over this house; for my family; that I would know how to rest.
This evening, as I was able to eat a bit more and thought I was feeling a bit better, I was so excited about leading high school youth that I decided I was feeling up to going. My lovely friend Ani picked me up with her mom, and it was so great to be with the kids, to worship, and to hear an incredible word through Pastor Nat. The group is starting a new message series about end times, and tonight we talked about Heaven and its purpose. I was so grateful to be there, giving my attention to the Lord… but also feeling like a kid caught stealing candy. I knew I had felt too sick to go. What if I got my kids sick? Why did I feel this incessant NEED to be out doing things?
While we were worshipping, I heard Jesus whisper away the lies that I was condemned, and rather breathed a Word of Truth that my friend and sister Josee relayed to me once:
Your identity is not in your performance, but in His sacrifice.
So, whether I had stayed at home or gone to youth, my thinking that either decision was such a “decision” in the first place came down to my own pridefulness. His sacrifice for me I pray results in my giving Him all the glory, and so, being there, I just worshipped, and I did rest. I told people I was under the weather, and that my place was to listen tonight.
Back home, I am in a place of still listening to Him, and amazed at how stillness and silence can be the best place to be, because it’s where He fills us up. We’re less susceptible to toxic voices, and GIFTED with HIS ever-glorious and perfect voice.
Lord, I pray that You would shine Truth on the lies in this world that say that our identity is in our performance or our own striving. Remind us, Lord, that we can’t do anything worthwhile without You. Amen.