The Frightening Risk of Rest

The Frightening Risk of Rest

My daughter is only six months old, but I’m beginning to see signs that she is an extrovert. She normally falls asleep very easily and sleeps through the night. But lately she has had lots of social interaction and she loves it – meeting new people, being held by strangers, and being surrounded by lots of excitement.

After these times it’s really hard to get her to go to sleep. Yesterday I laid her down and slipped out of the room. I flipped on the video baby monitor and started watching her. Minutes earlier she was so exhausted she could barely hold her head up. But as soon as a laid her down she started lifting her head and looking around, trying to see if there was anyone there or anything she was missing. She was thrashing around in the bed making baby noises that eventually turned into a full-on cry.

Everything in me wanted to go in and scoop her up. But I knew she needed to rest.

At that moment I was reminded of a warning I keep hearing repeated from lots of people in my life. Apparently I’ve been a little overwhelmed and cranky lately. Those who know me best keep pointing it out. They keep saying:

Joël, you need to rest.

They aren’t talking about actually sleeping. They are talking about choosing to stop forcing things to happen and stop trying to control everything.

I’ve heard it from so many people that I’m starting to think maybe God is speaking to me. Like he’s watching me from a heavenly baby monitor saying, “Really, Joël, I know you think you’ll miss something, but you need to trust me and just rest.”

I used to admire the people who burn the candle at both ends until they reach a point of burnout. Those are the heroic, courageous ones, out saving the world, right? I’m starting to wonder if sometimes the most courageous thing we can do is trust God enough to just rest.

Sometimes faith in God might look like laziness.

It’s scary to let your guard down and release control long enough to rest. Sometimes it feels like the world will come crashing down if you do. Or you wonder if you might miss your moment. But I’m beginning to think that until I learn to rest in God I won’t ever really see what he’s capable of, because I’ll be trying to do it all on my own and I’m really limited.

If you are tired or feel like you are constantly striving for something you can’t attain, maybe you should consider taking a brave step and just resting. Stop trying to force things. Show your faith in God by letting go of control for a little while. If you are like me you’ll probably be really bad at it to start. But I’m certain we’ll get better. And we might just see God do some amazing things just to prove that he is in ultimate control – not us.

Be courageous enough to give yourself time to rest.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28