"Come to me all who are weary and carrying heavy burdens
And I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you.
Let me teach you for I am gentle and humble of heart,
and I will give you rest for your soul.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Last fall God blessed me with 26+ (I quit counting after 26) encounters with the above verses in Matthew 11 in only a few weeks. God was making more than a small effort to get His message across to me! I believe He was preparing me, teaching me, and providing the answers I needed for peace in my circumstances just like any loving Father would do. With patience He gently reminded me over and over again that the only place to rest was with Him. Trust Me....Trust Me....He was whispering.
Needless to say, after last fall's encounters with Matthew 11:28-30, I felt the words I was to meditate on this year were "rest" and " trust". They really are connected for me. I truly need to trust God in order to rest in Him. His plan, His love, His healing, His wisdom. Rest in Him. I even changed the title of my blog in my quest for entering into rest with our Lord Jesus.
Now if I could just make the leap into His lap and stop struggling.......
This past Sunday morning Joel Osteen spoke on "entering His rest". Especially at times when our circumstances have us feeling overwhelmed or we are challenged by storms that come our way.
A storm comes up.........financial, emotional, physical, spiritual. Money is scarce, anxiety wants to take up residence, the doctor gives us a bad report, or we find ourselves wondering where God is in our mess. A storm.
God wants us to trust Him in ALL circumstances. He wants us to climb up on His lap and rest while we let him calm the storm, or calm us while we (God and us) go through the storm.
I flunked the test. You see, Joel Osteen said yesterday, "When you are at rest, you are passing the test." I flunked the test. :) When I "rest", when I stop striving to get well, I truly feel anxious, because I believe deep down in the six year old part of me that when you stop fighting, when you are still and stop resisting, bad things happen to you. I also am one who prays, but then I take the reins back from God's more than capable hands! Thus: I. Struggle. with. resting.
When I was battling Lyme Disease I would pray and pray about it, and then I did research and more research, followed a strict diet, took a ton of supplements, herbs, and antibiotics, and followed a rigid sleep and rest schedule. I felt I just had to do everything exactly right in order to get the 2 + 2 = 4 result I was looking for. It is not that those things did not help, they did......but I did not trust the doctors or God to get me the results I desired. As you probably know the healing that came my way in the past year was the result of prayer. Only prayer. Interesting.
Now, with the setbacks I have had this year I am still striving to get the results I desire WHEN I desire them. I end up taking my eyes off of Jesus and unto Dr. Google or my own efforts. Striving.
That brings me back to the resting. God has shown me the same verses in Jeremiah a few times concerning my healing. "I will give you back your health and heal your wounds says the Lord."
I know I will be healed. He has promised to give me back my health. He has promised to heal my soul wounds. But when? I resist it being at His timing. It is hard for me to trust sitting on His lap. It is hard to rest in His arms and trust Him with it all.
Just being honest here.
Because, here is where the truth lies about my present journey......When I enter into His rest, I am passing the test.
I have learned from Ann Voskamp that one way to learn to trust is by taking in all those small and large things in life. Write them down and meditate on all God blesses us with on a daily basis. "Eucharisto comes before the miracle." (Ann) Grace.....gratitude......trust.
So each day I am making the effort to find those things I am grateful for. In the midst of feeling just plain awful I am holding on to those many things that come my way by the grace of God.
Laughing with Joel
Crying with Joel over the death of our sweet dog Levi last Friday
A cardinal stopping by and gracing my view
A heavy rain that reminds me of our years in The Philippines
Being able to sit on a stool and make pancakes
Eat pancakes with fresh strawberries and coconut whipped cream
Sitting in what was once my mom's recliner and remembering her
A text from a daughter with pictures to share
Entering Papa God's rest and sitting on His lap...even for a moment
Passing the test....one day at a time.