When I am praying in the morning, and God speaks, others may use a notebook to write things down, but I typically write it on my mirror in the bathroom with a dry eraser marker. It is something I have been doing for many years, and there has been lots of notes on my mirror and once in a great while I will spray the whole thing down and clear it all off. I just recently sprayed it down and cleared all of it off except one little portion, and it was meant to stay there for a reason but at the time I didn’t know why, it reads “Our hearts are restless until we are found in God”. When God gave me these words it was through song. I had heard it from a Christian artist on the radio and ran in and wrote it on the mirror to pray on it. I didn’t get much insight on it at the moment but it really connected with me spiritually, however the true connection to why I wrote them down came to me much later.
A while back I had a really rough week, we all have them, but this one seemed extra rough, the pressures of life were really weighing on me, obligations at the church and school, family issues, my husband, work… I was letting evil creep into my mind with self doubt and anger and I wasn’t doing my best to rely on God to help me with that. On top of it I have really been struggling during training in ministry and where my position would be, I was thinking that God will give me a clear, direct path on my call, and all I keep hearing from Him is “You are where you need to be”.
For me that wasn’t really clear enough. I wanted more, I wanted Him to tell me a direct call on my life, maybe with big flashing arrows or something specific that I won’t miss, but I wasn’t getting that. Praying on clarity in my van, I heard the single word “rest”. I felt compelled to take a detour from work and head to our park district and sat by the lake and prayed. I was alone, for the exception of a very strong presence of the Holy Spirit. The Lord covered me with His unexplainable power and love. He assured me, He will provide rest in this area and what I heard repeatedly is “You are where you need to be”.
OK, I am where I need to be.
That week at our church prayer time, I was still praying about “where I needed to be” and where I am, and what I should be doing and struggling to find rest in the fact that He will provide peace. God started to fill my heart with more insight and more information, because obviously I wasn’t really getting it and because our God is so awesome, gracious and understanding to each of our own personalities He was telling me in many different ways of what I needed to hear, and that night he was telling me through scripture verses. I was looking up “rest” in the back of my bible to find scriptural references since He keeps speaking to me about rest. I didn’t understand how I could rest and have so much to do. I wasn’t thinking of rest as God wanted me to be thinking of it.
The scripture I needed to read in that moment came from Matthew 11:28-30 the words of our Lord “Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light.”
There were a handful of scriptures God lead me to that night, and all of them gave me reassurance, peace and rest, but Matthew 11:28-30 stuck to my heart. Which goes back to my mirror, Our hearts are restless until we are found in God…
When I first was praying on this post I knew God wanted me to speak on these words, but I was trying to plan it out on my own and I was working on all of these statistics that prove how restless nonbelievers hearts are. So much of our world is restless… and it is a burden on my heart, people are always searching for more, something bigger, better, fancier cars, bigger homes, smarter kids, willing to go in debt for it… it becomes a focus in life… it becomes an idol. That is what I was going to write about. However God was speaking to me about something different… and those words rang clear and true. This is what I was meant to say:
When we become a Christian that is diving in to follow our call we start a walk that will lead us down a path of extreme intimacy with our Father. If you don’t know it already, we all have been gifted. A gift that God has given each of us to better His Kingdom during this very short time here on earth. You may be at the point where I am right now where you are relentlessly trying to discover what you call is, or you may know what your call is and are learning how to walk in it. Or you may be like I was when I first became a Christian in 97 and didn’t know what “call” even meant. We have a heart that is yearning to walk in our call. We will do whatever we can as a human to discover that calling. That is why we are here. But we are not the only ones. Every person on the face of this earth has a calling and the potential to do great things for the Kingdom and a more fulfilling… restful life.
Remembering to let God take control is key. The way I am wired up and the family background that I grew up in, have made me into a type A personality, take charge and get it done type of attitude. If something is easy, it is not worth the reward, you need hard work, sacrifice and a lot of pain for your ultimate reward to be fulfilled.
Jesus telling us to take His yoke and it being light and easy and the burdens will basically dissolve was a little hard for me to understand. Even though it’s in the bible, and I trust with my whole heart the word of the bible, it is something that I am struggling with, and I think there are others that may share that struggle. Here are three ways that are helping me be obedient to resting in His word and I pray they are helpful to you as well.
- First, ACT. Jesus said “Take my yoke upon you” We have to continually remember to GO to Him. To listen to His word and to take what He is showing us, sometimes on pure faith and complete surrender when we don’t understand His ways. God knows how you best receive His word and He will continue to pursue you in love and hand you the yoke, like He told me to go pray in my crazy day, and I listened and I was blessed. Keep your eyes and ears open to His voice and discern by asking if it follows the word of the bible? If it doesn’t it is not God.
- Second, LISTEN. Jesus said “You will find rest for your souls” “The burden I give you is light” How refreshing are those words? Just saying them makes me feel more peaceful. We have to trust in the word of God. Do you all know the feeling of hearing a word from God and taking action on it? If it’s challenging right now it will get easier and you will be amazed at how very right and “light” it feels? If you haven’t had this experience yet, I trust that you will if you continue to follow our Lord. It is… amazing.
- Third and lastly, TRUST. When we are able to TRUST in His will, it is a glorious thing. All of us need to remember that this walk of faith is a challenging one, we will be attacked by the enemy repeatedly and the enemy knows our weaknesses and will pursuit those, but trusting on God’s help, and the support of other Christians around us, we will be able to do exactly what God has called us all to do. And IN that, we will find rest.