I was a bit torn up the other night.
And, yet, it was on my knees in the silence of a quiet spring evening that I found peace.
It seems as though conflicting emotions were at war within me. All around me, family and friends and loved ones were hurting. New conflicts and challenges were sneaking their ugly heads into places where they had no business being. Marriages were failing, sickness and health issues were attacking the bodies of loved ones, emptiness and loneliness were creeping into the hearts of those seeking to break free from it all.
And where was I? “Busy” as usual. I had a million projects piling up on my desk at work, all the while even more was being thrown my way. Oh, and I had to get that run in because heaven forbid my butt grows an inch. Then, I was worried because I’m pretty sure I hadn’t cooked supper for my husband in a week, and let’s be honest, left-overs are good for only so long (bless his heart for eating them for THAT long). And, and, and…the list rambled on and on inside my head. Even as I type this, I have oranges boiling on the stove – no lie, I’m making orange cake tonight as if I have nothing better to do – just…well, just because I’ve been wanting to try the recipe for some time, and I felt compelled to procrastinate on a couple of other projects with tight deadlines, ignore that pile of laundry calling my name, and just sigh at the massive spread of crap-ola strewn across my countertop, much to my husbands dismay. So…..orange cake it is!
The truth is, if I’m not “doing” and accomplishing something (geesh, anything!), I feel like I’m not really “living”. I find a great sense of satisfaction in using the skills that come naturally to me, to constantly produce and do it in record time, no less; and yet, in the broad aspect of it all, all of those things that I cross off another day’s to-do list are meaningless. Don’t get me wrong, I have a passion for living responsibly and striving to use “what the good Lord gave me”, but sometimes, I think I just sort of get lost in it all, and I lose sight of what really matters.
And so…I went upstairs to my bedroom, closed the door, and got down on my knees and prayed. I cleared my mind of all my to-do’s, and I brought every burden, every heartache, every need of those I love and laid them down at the foot of the cross.
I buried my head in my heads, and I just chose to be still.
It’s not always an easy thing for me to do, but I knew in my heart of hearts that I had lost focus on the heart of God. It’s not that my heart wasn’t in the right place, it’s just that I had become so wrapped up in..well, in myself. I was so caught up with being “busy” that I had stopped truly seeking, and even more so, I had failed to truly intercede in prayer for those hurting and lost and for those I hold most dear. Sure, I prayed here and there throughout my day, did my devotions like I always do, but had I really let it penetrate my heart? I’m not convinced I did.
And so…I remained still before the Lord. I poured out my heart to God, and then I remained quiet. I don’t recall how long I stayed there, but I knew I had been there awhile.
I’m convinced that I will always have to stay on guard from my own drive to live my life my own way. I will always have to fight the urge to be “busy” ALL THE TIME. I will always have to work on surrendering my wants and my desires to HIS will for my life.
But, you know what?
Jesus Christ died on the cross and took ALL of my shortcomings, all of my distractions, all of my sin, and all of my shame – far too many things to count, and He broke down the barrier that stood between me and a life of eternity with Him. Everything that weighs me down and tears me up inside, He took upon himself. He took the punishment for me, and he died for my sin. He took my place, and when He rose again, he said, “I remember it no more.”
And…at that moment, I became His. For all eternity. I am His.
So…where is God when I’m lost in the busy-ness of being busy?
He’s waiting. He’s waiting for me to lay all of my burdens on Him. He’s waiting for me to let Him carry me through when I can no longer carry myself. He’s waiting for me to once again turn my eyes away from the temporary things of this world and come back into focus on the eternal…on Him and Him alone. He’s waiting to give me rest, to restore me, and to set me free once again. Arms wide open, he’s waiting.
It is then when I come back to Him, and only then, that I can truly accomplish all that is set before me. So for today and the days ahead, may you too find peace and rest in the Lord today.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV)