On Sunday I spoke from Psalm 131 on being still and resting in God’s arms – like a weaned child in its mother’s arms. A phrase that caught my attention and imagination as I was thinking and talking about this is found in Hebrews 4 – “strive to enter the rest”.
That almost seems like an oxymoron – a contradiction in terms.
But I kind of get it.
Do you ever have those days where you have a knot in your stomach, or aching shoulders, or sleepless nights. You are worried or anxious or fearful or angry. Sometimes you don’t even know fully what it is that is bothering you.
Sometimes you do.
Entering God’s rest, being still, trusting in him, casting your cares, seems to be the answer.
But you struggle to let go. To rest. To trust God.
Sometimes you have to work at it. You have to take the time to metaphorically climb into God’s lap (if we are staying with the image of Psalm 131) and to cast your cares, your burdens on the Lord.
Sometimes I cast my cares…. And then I grab them back again.
Sometimes my “prayers” feel more like anxious chunnering filled with turmoil.
There is no great sense of peace after telling God about it.
Sometimes, I really have to strive, to work hard, to enter God’s rest.
For me, this involves processing. Journalling. Being brutally honest with God. Sometimes chatting things through with someone else. Being gentle with myself.
It takes a little time sometimes.
But then, most of the time at least, comes the perspective, the calm, the peace, the supernatural presence of God (even if it doesn’t always feel supernatural).
So in a time that is full of stress and anxiety, and being fed up and impatient.
In a time, for some, of loneliness, or uncertainty, or pain.
Be still my soul.
Put your trust in God.
Like a weaned child in its mother’s arms.
It may take you a while, but strive to enter that rest!