A deadline looms. A project hangs over my head, unfinished. The to-do list stretches by the minute. The laundry pile grows, and the dishes overflow the sink. And I just can't focus enough to finish anything.
I bet you know the feeling.
The guilt of what's left undone starts to get the best of me. I begin to beat myself up over my lack of focus and discipline. I give myself all the appropriate pep talks, and yet I stare into space and feel even more miserable for my lack of productivity.
Sometimes it is a focus issue, but every once in awhile I realize what I really need is rest. I have exhausted myself, and I have nothing left. I'm running on empty and no amount of self-discipline is going to get it done.
I have tried to do too much in my own power. I have convinced myself I can conquer the world, and I've set out to do that entirely on my own and in my own strength.
These are the moments that I usually hear God's voice reminding me: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).
Over and over again I find myself in these moments where I realize that my stress is a result of my inability to rest and my inability to trust that God is God and to rest in the fact that he is capable. When I take the burden upon myself, the yoke is unbearable and the burden is overwhelming.
Resting is a way for me to actively trust God. Do I trust that he's bigger? That he's capable? That he sees everything (and more) that I see? Do I trust the he is ultimately in control?
If you asked me those questions I would very quickly tell you, "Yes, of course I believe God is in control." But every time I find myself in one of these moments of utter exhaustion and frantic unrest I know that I still don't completely trust God the way that I should, the way that I want to, the way that I need to.
But I pray that every restless moment of this realization brings me closer to trusting in the beauty of his rest.
Can you relate to those frantic moments of restlessness? I encourage you to take time to understand and experience the beauty of God's rest.