life and faith living with M.E

Making room for rest

March came in like a lion and went out like a lamb.

On the cusp of the month I heard gentle, persuasive roarings from the Lion of Judah as He made it clear to me that I should take a blogging break.

Only here’s the rub ~ it was to be for an unspecified time but definitely a month at least.

Because I was burnt out physically and mentally, in need of rest, restoration and lots and lots of sleep.

Ideas and inspiration were still flowing freely but the energy to execute them wasn’t.

So I stepped back, withdrew reasonably willingly and cheerfully.. at first. After all, God was calling me to enter His rest more deeply and fully than before. What’s not to like about that?

Plenty, actually, as I soon discovered. It was hard to lay down my pen, remain silent, still my soul and surrender.

Resting turned out to be something I found very challenging – yes, even as an M.E sufferer where resting and pacing are a necessary part of life.

But this was different. This was taking resting to a whole new level.

Before I could properly rest and relax I had to discover what was blocking the process.

Letting go felt like drowning, even with my Lifeguard at hand. I’d taken off my writing shoes, padded gingerly out to sea and lost myself in waves of invisibility.

 

Or at least that’s how it seemed for a while. I felt isolated, lonely, bereft of the writing community’s friendship and support.

However, God was drawing me into closer communion with Him.

It sounds lovely and it was at times, but it was also painful.

Holy ground tends to show up our dustiness, selfishness and soul depravity. All that God longs to put right in us.

Resting was far from restful for a while.

When thoughts presented themselves to me I ran with them in my eagerness to be Doing Something.

Why not journal my experience? Great idea.

Why not consider turning it into an e-book? Excellent suggestion.

Why not read several books at once? Oh yes.

Why not try my hand at other creative activities instead? Hmm.. why not?

Hence the challenge.

I didn’t become an expert on the subject but, thankfully, I did eventually learn what to listen to and what to ignore and how to evaluate what I was going through.

Here’s the low down:

a) The hard facts:

 

  • Resting is really hard work
  • I totally suck at it
  • My mind resists switching off
  • Inner restlessness is my default position
  • Calm is hard to come by
  • Worry worms its way in
  • Pulling away from busyness can make us doubt our purpose
  • Discouragement drowns out God’s voice
  • Impatience makes it take longer
  • I really need to learn how to do it
  • I guess practise makes perfect
  • I doubt I’ll ever fully learn it in this lifetime

b) The golden truths:

  • God wants us to enter His rest
  • He calls us with gentle persuasion
  • Letting go of control can be liberating
  • Time in God’s presence is never wasted
  • Sitting at Jesus’ feet aids surrender
  • Listening for His voice gets easier over time
  • Prompt obedience brings better results
  • Inner rest promotes outer rest
  • We get to exercise our faith
  • It enables us to be more receptive
  • It paves the way for creativity to flourish
  • Realisation of our identity in Christ is heightened
I’m sure more nuggets of truth will emerge as I read through and reflect on my notes.
As it is, my slow M.E brain has taken several days to piece these words together here. Resting for a month seems to have made me rather rusty! Thank you for your grace.
But I have wondered, would it would help you to read about my experience? Maybe I will write more here or in an e-book in the future.
It could be that my tentative searching and struggles will help others who want to ‘let go and let God’ but find it really difficult in some way or other.
For now, I see how resting in God is the natural outcome and outworking of His grace. Its benefits become clearer as we begin to rest in Christ’s finished work on the cross and our new identity in Him.
My friend, maybe God has been signalling to you a need for rest. Could it be time to draw back a bit from busyness as we draw closer to Easter? Pause a while to ponder as we walk the path of the cross with Jesus. Wonder anew at His mercy and grace as we trace His way to Calvary.

Hope springs eternal in human hearts. The cross is a rallying cry for all mankind. It is calling to you too.

The Lamb of God has come to pave the way for us to return Home to the Father’s heart and find our soul’s deepest rest in relationship with Him. 

Over to you
What does resting in God look like for you?
 
What helps or hinders the process?
 
Please feel free to join in with the comments below. Your words matter. Thank you. 🙂

12 Comments

  1. poetrycottage 1st April 2015
    • Joy Lenton 1st April 2015
  2. Kristen 1st April 2015
    • Joy Lenton 4th April 2015
  3. Susan Shipe 1st April 2015
    • Joy Lenton 4th April 2015
  4. Celi 1st April 2015
    • Joy Lenton 4th April 2015
  5. Trudy Den Hoed 1st April 2015
    • Joy Lenton 4th April 2015
  6. strainme 2nd April 2015
    • Joy Lenton 4th April 2015

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