Since entering a period of rest, I know this one thing to be true: I don’t do resting well! I’m much better at doing, being busy with those ever present tasks – to get them done and put my mark next to each item on the finger-wagging to-do list.
During the past few weeks I’ve had to reduce my commitments to events outside of home, refrain from spending too much time outdoors when the weather was cold and wet, and spend some extra hours sleeping, in the day. My body insisted on it.
The giant in my life, at present, is my health. I’m healing from an overgrowth of bad bacteria in my gut, negotiating the effects of an injured neck – where another two discs in my neck are degenerating and causing much pain and discomfort – and I’m living in what feels like the aftermath of having endometriosis for the last twenty years.
So, all-in-all, I’m a little out-numbered.
Writing it down all in one place here, helps me to see the enormity of what I’m dealing with. It helps me to realise that I am dealing with a lot. The effect of it all on my body, mind, spirit and soul runs deep and laying it all down together brings a curious kind of comfort in knowing that I’m not merely being neurotic. I’m not imagining that I am standing before something boldly larger than myself – what seems like an insurmountable, unconquerable giant.
Still, David did kill Goliath. And what is more, he removed Goliath’s head! David didn’t look to his armour, or his skill to fight like a warrior. David simply believed well!
I believe that Yahweh can heal me. That He alone can. I believe that He can command my healing and satisfy my yearning for relief from the stress of breathing all this in and trying so desperately to exhale it all out – out of mind, body, spirit and soul. Out of my life, permanently. To be free of it all.
I also believe that for healing to spring forth like a fountain of goodness all over me, I need to rest.
I’ve learned that resting only comes when I let go – when I give the reins over to God and allow Him to control the outcomes. The more I hold on, the more I position myself to be in conflict.
So, one morning in this week, while having some intimate prayer time, I relinquished my hold on the reins of my health and handed them over to the One who sits on the throne and who commanded all of creation into being.
I confessed that I have no idea how to carry this anymore. It’s become too heavy and the shape of it has become awkward and uncomfortable to hold steadily in my hands. It’s been threatening to weigh me down and cause me to stumble and fall. I conceded that He alone is great enough to carry the weight of it for me.
I can no longer carry the weight of fear. The fear of what is happening to my health and how it affects every facet of my life. Instead, I am choosing to believe that if this is what God is allowing, then I must trust His decision and Him with my health.
Because, you see, rest is not found in extra hours of sleep per day, or cutting back on commitments, or staying indoors so I won’t become more ill than I already am. Rest – true rest – is found only in Yahweh.
Resting is a task, too. One that I need more than any other to mark as done on my daily to-do list. Without rest, every other task just becomes more of a fumble than a graceful move of confidence.
I’m learning that true rest is the outcome of true faith. Giving the reins over to God is not just a measure of control that I hand over to Him. It demands that I trust Him to do all the decision-making, and the project managing. Rest comes when I allow Him to decide how each moment of my day needs to line up, one after another, to bring me forth and shape my character to be set apart unto Him. Rest brings the order to my being that diffuses the conflict between flesh and spirit. Where there is no conflict I will have peace, and therefore the ability and strength to rest.
I don’t spend any strength on trying to manage or diffuse the conflict. I spend all my energy on trusting Yahweh and step into agreement with Him in what He decides is best for me. When we agree, then I can rest.
Priorities are also vital in resting, because they, too, ensure order in my life and peace within my being. Priorities bring the order that allows me to function in a healthy, wholesome, calm, peaceful way and not with my spirit in conflict with my flesh, or how the Spirit of God is directing me. Rest comes when I allow my spirit to command my flesh, and I surrender them both to the sovereignty of God and His will for me.
I’m not only trusting Yahweh with my health, though. I’m also trusting Him with all of my life. And giving Him the authority to make the decisions for me.
And why not? After all, He parted the Red Sea for the entire nation of Israelites to cross over and escape the oppression and slavery of their enemy.
I trust Him, because He parted the Red Sea for me, too, and is wielding His sword in the face of my enemy.
I trust Him, because He is parting the Red Sea…in me!