I think it’s the world’s way to be always busy, always stressed, running from one thing to another. Lysa TerKeurst says it well in her book, “The Best Yes”: An overwhelmed schedule is an indicator of an underwhelmed soul.
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What does it mean to be underwhelmed? It means to lose the WOW factor of God in your life. To be mundane and mechanical about your existence. To feel purposeless or ineffective. To have an “absent father” relationship with God.
Mind you I came from Florida to help with Hurricane Relief, attend court hearings, catch up on doctor’s visits and then move. Even now I’m having to generate income to meet our new set of expenses. God definitely provides, but I’m in no way feeling like I’m on “vacation”.
However I learned to live from a position of a rested soul.
5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
Psalms 62:5-6 NIV
It means I don’t have to nag my pre-teen into reading his Bible or attending church because I know that his soul belongs to God first. I can take my concerns about his spiritual upbringing to my prayer closet and leave it there. And I smile as I type this now because we’ve had some very spiritual conversations and his faith is growing.
I’m free from judgment and condemnation. All I’m worth is held by God’s scales, not mine! So my less-than-clean house or my less-than-perfect kids aren’t a source of friction for me. I am His, and He is mine. We can work on the rest together and little by little.
There’s no rush to keep up with appearances. I don’t ever worry, “What will our Pastor think?” I figure if he’s ever truly concerned he’ll call us. Transparency is a beautiful thing.
Our prayer closet is the greatest rejuvinating source for us – more than a nap or a spa day. It gives us the strength and the peace that supernaturally helps us overcome each situation we face. Prayer helps us approach battles from a position of rest. The Bible gives us the wisdom to not put ourselves in battles we weren’t meant to fight in the first place. A solid, gospel preaching church gives a spiritual refreshing in a corporate setting. A small group or bible study setting helps us bear each other’s burdens so we don’t feel overwhelmed and alone.
And actually resting as God has commanded us releases the tension in our bodies, clears the brain fog, slows down the adrenaline, and keeps our emotions balanced! I don’t know why Christians feel like they are always to be “doing” something for the Lord – maybe it’s that one proverb about the ants – but we can sure be a whole truck full of Martha’s in what is supposed to be a Mary walk.
The difficulty lies in that you can’t achieve rest without boundaries. You have to set boundaries for your energy so you don’t spend yourself in meaningless pursuits. You have to set boundaries from your children so you can have your prayer closet time. You have to set boundaries from friends and family when you can’t keep up with all the activities that month. The Bible says that boundary lines fall for us in pleasant places; they are designed to be our comfort, not our restraint.
I wish I knew all this before I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Now my body is a barometer of activity and like a vehicle with a busted fuel tank, I hit my limit more often than others. I pray these words encourage you to find your rest in Him. Together we can tackle this life with the optimism of a three year old who had a wonderful nap! Let us not miss out on the blessing of living with our souls rested.