As of late, it seems as if our family has suffered one crushing blow after another. Job losses, medical emergencies and lots of financial uncertainties. It seemed like things were beginning to settle down a bit and then we had a couple of setbacks and it felt like we were starting at square one all over again.
What were we doing wrong? Were we too dumb to figure things out the first time, so here we were facing the same challenges all over again?
I needed to process things, so I took the kids to the playground down the street and as they played I walked and listened to an audio version of the Psalms. Then the strangest thing occurred.
Normally when I read verses where the psalmist is talking about being forsaken or abandoned it resonates with me. But this time when I heard about the Lord answering in our distress, I didn’t feel like that described the current state we were in.
Were things bad?! Sure. We have these crazy medical bills, no job security and I had just sent the most heartbreaking text about a situation I felt like God was closing the door on. Could that be considered being in “distress”? Absolutely! Last year’s me would have chalked it up as just another awful thing happening to our already terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. But today something was different.
Instead of dwelling on the insurmountable challenges that lay ahead, my thoughts were flooded with the innumerable ways in which God has provided for our family recently. I have never been so utterly humbled at the way God has lavished us with such kindness from our friends, family and even complete strangers.
God brought to mind something I had read just a few days earlier in my Restoration Year devotional by John Eldredge about resting in God’s love. In that moment, I felt like God was telling me to just rest in Him and He would take care of everything. Hadn’t He already proven Himself trustworthy?
Of course God is trustworthy, but rest?! In a time like this when my whole world is falling apart? Doesn’t God know that I don’t “rest” very well?! It is so unnatural for me to be still. Not like physically still, but in my spirit still. I’m a hard worker by nature. If there is a problem I try to solve it. If something is wrong, I try to fix it. So when things in my life aren’t “right”, I get to work.
Psalm 46:10 talks about being still. It says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Another translation says, “Cease striving and know that I am God”
Being still means I must stop striving; stop devising my own plans; stop doing things in my own strength; stop forging ahead and doing things my way. It means I must trust that He is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. I also need to abide in Him and saturate my heart and mind with His promises; it’s His promises alone that will preserve my life.
So rather than spinning my wheels and going nowhere or having to start all over again from scratch, this time I just need to rest in God’s love and let Him take care of everything else. He has already proven He is more than able; I just need to rest, trust and abide in Him. Three of the simplest, yet hardest, truths He desires in a surrendered life.