Thursday, October 31

you will find rest

Oswald Chambers was right; following God, keeping in stride with God, is a difficult thing to do. Half of the time you’re running, running, running.  The other half is spent stumbling, looking for shortcuts, and bumping into yourself.  Plain and simple, keeping up with God is His ways is difficult work.
As I said before, God is always working.  He’s always doing something to transform and renew the very fiber of who you are.  So, it’s easy to see that His pace is fast, while mine is slow.  The problem is that there are many things that halt my stride.  For instance, those pesky things called “My Needs” or “My Wants”. Those have a great tendency of tripping me up, making me think there is a shortcut, or smacking me down right before I catch the second wind.  Then, there’s all that baggage.  The suitcases, trunks, and gunny sacks I use to pack tightly memories, regrets, failures, and lies weigh me down tremendously.  How can I run and keep up while hauling these useless items?
God does not slow down for these unnecessary items that are more like excuses.  He does not stop for me to wrap my head around it, to prepare for it, or to simply let go.  He moves.  He works and creates.
The amazing thing is that He has asked us to come along.  Truthfully, He could do whatever He wants, whenever He wants, without my help or my compliance.  I could be more like jellyfish, prone to tossing in the waves without eyes to see or ears to hear.  Instead, I’m a beloved tool, used to make Him known, used to change the world.
Brady Boyd of New Life Church talks a lot about this awe that is found in God’s incredible goodness—the awe found in His constant giving to us.  Yes, His stride and pace are phenomenally swifter than ours, and yes, He continues to work even when we’ve stopped to cry or nap; He continues when we use our excuses and baggage to catch a different train.
But what’s even better, what’s even more amazing is what happens when we catch the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Brady says, “Wherever you experience and encounter the Holy Spirit, you will find there, rest for your souls” Exodus 33:14.
Rest, is what He offers.
Listen, I know keeping up with God is hard.  I know the perseverance, the commitment, that pain, agony, and emotional-spiritual battle that it requires to keep up with God’s plans, to understand who He is, to know what He is doing, and to grasp the suffering and hardships in your life. I get it. In fact, I think it’s beneficial to say, “God, this is hard work. This is too difficult for me, and I cannot keep up with You.” Because in those moments, He replies, “My grace, my strength, my power, and my love is enough for you to finish this journey. I will make you strong.”
And there, in that place where we try our best to keep up and continue to fall behind, He gives us rest.  The race is long and difficult and requires much, but in running beside God, in keeping stride with Him, He provides just exactly what you need to continue moving forward—rest.
It will not be difficult to find Him when you look, but it will be difficult to keep up with Him because you come with baggage and He moves forward, constantly.  But, He is good, constantly; He will remove your baggage and make you swift. And He will give you rest.

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