Jesus’ rhythm of work and rest was the centerpiece of our church retreat day, capping off a beautiful Lenten season focused on Sabbath. I understood this rhythm. I lived this rhythm. More importantly, I knew the dangers of not living this rhythm. I had 5 minutes to speak, and I knew exactly what I would say.
Yet, as I shared from the podium the story God had laid on my heart, I felt him nudging me.
It can happen again, Meredith. Pay attention. Be careful.
I thought I was healed, whole, and rested, but I still had so much to learn. Several months later I would drive myself to a small inn to spend 24 hours alone. Just me and Jesus.
What I learn, I must relearn. What I teach others, I must reteach myself.
I am not complete. God is not done with me. Even this, I am always relearning.
I feel the nudge again, as if I’m standing in a room full of people with 5 minutes to speak. This time I’m not testifying to the power of Sabbath rest. I’m sharing with you about surrender and trust, and I’m hearing God say it.
Pay attention. Be careful.
But where I am veering off course? My brain plays its movie reel. I watch the days and months roll by, and then I see it:
I live open-handed, releasing my expectations . . . except when I don’t.
When I forget God is always for me, always with me, always 1000 steps ahead of me, that’s when I stumble. My open hands curl into controlling, clenching fists. I wrestle circumstances into what I think they should be. I hurry and scurry and overthink. I listen to more podcasts, watch more webinars, consult more experts, read more articles. If I just consume more, I’ll get it right this time.
(More information leads to better choices, right?)
Sometimes the better choice is to be still. Look. Listen. Remember.
Remember that God doesn’t change. Remember the time he was working for my good, even though I couldn’t see it. Remember the time I thought I knew it all, but later saw the bigger picture.
I want loose strings tied in a tight knot. I want clear direction and a sure path laid before me. I want circumstances to change. I want to know why my soul stirs without understanding where I’m going.
Why are you struggling to understand this on your own? Lean not on your own understanding.
He has proven his love and provision over and over again. Why do I forget?
Maybe you want answers more than you want me.
I want to know him more than I want anything else, but I am so weak. If I avert my eyes from my Savior for even a moment, even without awareness, my fists curl into false control once again. I do what I don’t want to do.
Thank God, then, for those whispers.
Answers don’t always come, and they almost never come quickly, but God is still good – he has always been good – and I can trust him with my questions. I can rest in his presence while I wait.
So, I uncurl my fingers and relearn the lesson.