I’m all about working for something. Being busy. I’m not sure I know how to not be busy. Even when my husband and I are just sitting and watching TV, I’m playing a game on my iPad. My mind is always moving, even if my body is not.
Except recently. Because of my health issues, I get awful headaches. They range from not-so-bad, but slightly annoying, to nauseating. Sometimes within seconds. In the times that they become excruciating, I find that I can do nothing but close my eyes and rest.
Moving hurts. Reading hurts. Watching TV hurts. So I’m forced into inactivity.
And there in lies my difficulty. I don’t REST well.
I always want to be working for something. Doing something. Even when I know I need rest.
In the beginning, God rested on the seventh day. Not because He NEEDED to rest, but because WE needed to see Him rest. We needed the example.
And I think in my resting, I will learn some things. Some IMPORTANT things. Things I NEED.
I promised more about my trip to ACFW, so here it is. (It’s really related to the above, so bear with me.)
I went to a class by Allen Arnold. It was less about writing and more about having a relationship WITH God. Doing life WITH God. Writing WITH God. Not for God, but WITH Him.
How many times have we gotten an idea and moved forward because it seemed like it would please God? We expect God to come along side us because we’re DOING something good.
But God is less interested in the doing and more interested in the BEING. He sees our hearts–who we are on the inside. What we do is not as important as WHO we are.
In order to BE who He has called us to be, we must first KNOW who He is. We must live life WITH Him, in freedom–not bound by the confines of this world or tradition or unbelief. God wants us to be WITH Him. Every day. All day.
In that same class, Mr. Arnold handed out journals. He’d prayed for every writer who would sit and listen to his words. But the words he wrote in the front of those journals weren’t his. Person after person I spoke to and heard about said that the words he wrote were meant for them. A personal note from God. And I agree.
Mr. Arnold didn’t just tell us to do life WITH God; he exemplified it by writing in 160 journals a message unique to the reader. He didn’t know who would get which journal. He probably didn’t even know who would be in his class. BUT GOD KNEW.
Here’s what mine said:
It still gives me chills. It still brings tears to my eyes. It still encourages me to delve deeper. It helps me as I go through this time of fire in my life. I know that I know that I know that as I walk out these health issues that God is WITH me. I want more of Him in me. As John says, “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” (John 3:30)
I want to know Him in ways I haven’t yet realized. I want the deeper identity, the deeper intimacy, and I want to see life and story differently.
And I don’t have to work for it in my own strength. Somehow I know that during this time, all I have to do is open my heart and let Him work in me. I have to let the fire burn away the impurities, and I have to be willing to work WITH Him. I have to rely on His strength, His comfort, His timing.
And yet I know it won’t be easy. Simple, yes. Easy, no.
Have you ever been in a place in your life where you knew you couldn’t do it without God? I want to be in that place every day, because truly, life without Him is empty and worthless. It’s striving for the illusion of control that this world offers, and in the search you realize that no matter what you do, it won’t fulfill that hole in your heart that is God-sized.
Okay, well, that was deeper than I’d planned, but there it is. I pray blessings on you and yours this day. May you remain in His peace, His comfort, His strength, and His rest.
PS. My surgery is now scheduled for 9/23. I covet your prayers between now and then. Thank you, dear ones.