Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Striving to Rest

Do you ever feel like there's a war going on inside your head? Movies and cartoons depict this battle as the red-horned little devil on one shoulder and the halo-clad angel on the other. While this may not be completely accurate, that is exactly what it feels like sometimes. I find myself constantly arguing with myself and I'm convinced that if these conversations were audible I would be committed to an institution by now:)

A big one for me is choosing to find comfort in Christ rather than trying to satisfy my unhappiness with other things. Because it's never enough. There's not enough coffee, books, TV, or cappucino muffins in the world to make what I'm going through right now feel ok. There's only one person who really knows and understands and he pleads with us to run to him for comfort. His name is Jesus and he endured infinate suffering for the sake of God's glory and redemption of orphans like me.

Tom Hicks at Morningview Baptist Church has been preaching a remarkable series on Hebrews. Chapters 3 and 4 deal with God's rest in terms of salvation and heaven itself. I just listened to this one on Hebrews 4:12-13 which says

"(11)Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. (12) For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (13)And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account."

Does it seem ironic that the writer of Hebrews says "strive to enter that rest"? I thought it did. It seems like we should be either striving or resting, but you know I have found that it's hard work sometimes to just trust and rest. It's even harder than trying to fight your way out on your own. I know this is not the full intention of this verse, but it certainly made me think about where I am right now and if I'm really fighting to live in the rest I have in Christ.

This message was very convicting for me when Tom asked "Where is your heart really? Are you pursuing God to rest in him personally or are you pursuing God so that he'll give you something else? This is a great deception. Our hearts deceive us. Do you want God or something else? Are you trying to use God so that he'll give you rest in an idol or are you chasing him by faith to rest in him no matter what happens? You should pursue God for his own sake no matter what the outcome. He's better than anything he gives."

I've been running after idols for comfort. I've been giving my kids the impression that I just want them to go away so that I can pursue these other things and find happiness. I feel like in my heart I've been making excuses for myself like "Of course I've been snappy with the kids. Who wouldn't be under these circumstances?" or "Of course I have a right to complain about THIS...who wouldn't complain?" or "I won't be this grumpy when I get home and it's easier to be nice." The problem is that sin takes root quicker than we think it will. Before you know it your days are defined NOT by resting in the word of God, but by a resentful, snappy attitude toward your children and a complaining spirit that they reflect back to you like a mirror. I've been tempted to believe the lie that somehow I've been victimized by being "stuck" in Zambia. God keeps reminding me that by his sovereign hand I CHOSE to be here and that I believed it was worth it to rescue children for His glory. How quickly we lose sight of the things that matter most!

I'm thankful for a God who is not resentful or silent with his children. He spoke and has given us all we need in his word. Sometimes it takes all of the energy we have just to trust what he says, but he promises that there is rest in it.

1 comment:

  1. Wow Jacky, what an inspiring post. I love your writing style. All of your posts make me think about my own life and relationships. I'm praying for all of you.