Photo by Mark Stoop
Cease striving and know that I am God…Psalm 46:10(NASB)
On a chilly Monday morning, right after I had taken my niece to school. I came back to the house and locked myself in my bedroom. Frustrated and exhausted I cried out to God, “why won’t you open this door?”
I heard His still small voice say to me, “Stop your striving and know that I am God!”
I knew it was in the Bible but I wasn’t sure. I found it in psalm 46:10. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear. It was what I needed at this time.
This morning I found myself starting yet another week, unemployed and living in my sister’s house. I had moved in with her expecting to get a job within the month and move out. But here I was in the second month, weary and worn from banging on doors that wouldn’t barge.
God’s words stopped me in my trucks. I thought I was partnering with God instead I was striving away from Him and His plan for me. I realized I hadn’t stopped to ask Him what He had for me in this season. I couldn’t hear His plans in the clutter of my own desires and wanting to have things my way.
His voice gentle but stern caught my attention. In my hearts of heart, I knew exactly what He was going to ask me, but I didn’t want to hear it. I couldn’t imagine another season without a job, been there done that. I wasn’t going to have another season of uncertainty and lack.
The Cambridge dictionary defines “to strive” as –to try very hard to do something or to make something happen– exactly what I had been doing.
God was trying to teach me how to enter His rest and work from this rest but I was busy trying to enter a season that wasn’t God’s will for me. In stopping my striving I could now enter into rest.
I’m reminded of Hebrews 4:9-10 there remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.
The rest that God gives enables us to live by faith instead of trying to do things in our strength. In God’s rest, we don’t have to strive for our blessings. We don’t have to strive for His love. We don’t have to struggle to make things happen. In His rest, things work out according to his plan. It might not look like our plan but it will be much better than ours in the end.
With much struggle, I laid down my idea of how this season was going to look like and rested in His grace. I stopped worrying and fretting about the timing and rested knowing that the doors would open at the right time.
When I did I found myself enjoying this season. With God, I figured that I needed to cultivate my spirit, stay in the Word, prayer and prepare for the next season. In this season, I was able to go deeper in my relationship with God in a way that I couldn’t have if I had a job. I didn’t have to strive or struggle when God opened the doors for me because I did what I was supposed to do
Could you be in a season of striving? Striving to make things happen for your life? Struggling to get to a destination that only God’s grace can take you? Or have you come to a place of entering His rest? Relying on His grace for the season you are in. knowing that you are exactly where you need to be. And when things change God will be right there making it happen for you.
Maybe right now, you’re in a season that doesn’t look like how you planned. By now, you thought you would be ahead in your career but here you are pushing through another dead-end job. Or you thought you would be married with kids but you are still single and waiting on God.
You can enter into rest no matter what your season looks like. You can be fully engaged in what God wants to do in your life right now. And you can rest assured that nothing will pass you when you are in His will and His plan.
When we rest we are able to hear God clearly. We also get to see things from His perspective and do what we are supposed to do.
Father help me lay down my striving and choose your rest. I ask for the grace to rest in the season I’m in even with uncertainty. I want to know what it feels like to be encompassed in your love and grace. I also want to experience the blessing of resting in you fully knowing you are working out all things for my good. In Jesus name Amen.