Are you running yourself ragged as you try to keep up and measure up? Do you struggle to rest because you are overwhelmed by all that is on your plate? Me too.
Let’s release the tension and still our racing mind. Let’s take a breather as we lean in and listen.
It is a joy to introduce you to my new friend, Holly, as she shares about this topic that is close to my heart.
When You Are Longing for Spiritual Rest
By: Holly Mayes-Haynes
Years ago when I was pregnant with my first son, I was wringing my hands in anxiety when my therapist gave me a word which I had never heard:
Dictionary.com defines vigilant as: keenly watchful to detect danger; wary, ever awake and alert, sleeplessly watchful.
She explained that from being brought up in a home of alcoholism and dysfunction, it caused me to have anxiety and my hyper-vigilance was a coping mechanism that I developed to protect myself.
I carried that wariness for quite some time and then my hyper-vigilance morphed into perfectionism. I thought if I worked hard enough and became “enough”, then I would earn the right to be loved, and in essence, this was still a form of protecting myself.
When I came to Christ and read, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”, I struggled for many years to understand what this passage meant.
And what in the world did He mean by a yoke being easy and a burden light?
I knew my soul needed rest but did not have a clue how to attain it. Spiritual rest seemed like it was only something you found on a weekend spiritual retreat.
After years of being bound up with restlessness, I began to realize what Jesus is saying to each of His children in this promise.
He is saying, Come to me when you are tempted to carry things you were never meant to carry on your own—your fears, coping mechanisms, doubts, your depression, bad temper, family issues, illnesses—all of it.
The enemy’s lie from the beginning is: God cannot be trusted. God is not safe, nor good. He is holding out on you so you must self-protect and do this thing on your own.
You and I have a choice to make daily: whether or not we will rest spiritually. This is not some one time thing, this is a choice we will have to make over and over again:
If we will fret in fear or fall on our knees in trust.
If we will carry the heavy weight of self-sufficiency and pride on our backs or give it over to our burden carrier.
If we will be in a constant state of motion of doing, going, and climbing to try and prove our worth, or if we will receive that we are loved just as we are.
Right now, with the state which our world is in, we can choose to be either vigilant in scanning the latest news, or we can choose if we will be vigilant in prayer.
I now know and can see the symptoms arising when I am entering into a state of spiritual restlessness.
The yoke feels so heavy I can’t take a deep breath. I begin to feel the need to strive, prove myself worthy, and self-protect. And my peace and joy are crushed under the weight.
Entering into God’s rest is choosing to believe over and over that we are safe and secure in His love. And we can enter into His rest any time of day, no matter where we are, who we are with, or whatever is going on around us.Spiritual rest is not a place, but a person and His name is Jesus. Click To Tweet
Psalm 121:3 tells us: He who watches over you will not slumber.
You and I my friend no longer have to be sleeplessly watchful. We no longer have to be vigilant. We have a God who never slumbers and keeps us and protects us.
We can lay down our fears and open our hands in trust, we have a Father who is waiting for us to enter into His rest.
May we go without hesitation.
Holly is a self-proclaimed mess, she says she is one of Jesus’ ongoing patients. She is a wife of eighteen years to her husband Chad and a proud mom to two teenage sons, Brendon and Tyler. She is a bible study teacher and teaches teens, couples, and women weekly. You can find her most days blogging at hollynoelhaynes.com
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Thanks for this reminder. I have a tendency to be hyper-vigilant too but it is such a relief when we can hand things over to Jesus and rest in his arms. I love your comment about being vigilant in prayer instead. Visiting from the #RaRaLinkup.
Thanks for reading, Lesley. And yes, so glad that His strong arms uphold us and His grace enfolds us. 🙂