How often have I pushed through stressors, traumas, and pain just to reach my goal and not feel like a failure?
How often have I tried to make things work, only to be left worse off than I was? My life was full of achievements and accomplishments, but I was as restless, joyless, and fearful as they come. Sure, I believed I was saved by grace through faith, but I was living a life of performance and trying to earn God’s favor and the favor of everyone else. To what end?
Fast forward to a shattered life, unable to lift my head off of a couch for months on end with intractable migraines. I could do nothing, and it was finally something I couldn’t push through.
What is it in your life that keeps you striving and performing? What are you searching for? Mine was to be enough. If I could reach all my goals, would I attain it? If I pushed harder, would I finally make it? The answer was a resounding no. The answer, I finally found, was in Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God. I had to live that verse out, wrestle with God, and truly learn its meaning.
I had to be still in order to hear God’s still small voice (inaudible of course) whisper to the depth of my soul, that I could rest in Him. Jesus came and surrendered His life, so that I could find rest in Him. He paid the price that I deserved, so that He could call me “enough.” Although I accepted the free gift of salvation Jesus alone could offer through faith in Him, but I was still striving. I had not yet transferred God’s grace to my daily life. I was still trying to prove that I was enough.
I had to remove the noise, distractions, and voices from the world that were constantly feeding lies into my mind that I could never be “enough.” There was always going to be someone smarter, funnier, prettier, and more enjoyable to be around. Whenever there was silence, I filled it with work, adventure, or the pursuit of more goals. I could not bare to be alone with myself and my failings. However, after everything was stripped, in the darkness of night and in the silence, I found it.
It only took 3 years of not being able to work or give back to society. It took 3 years of pain, struggle, loss, and despair. It took 3 years for me to realize, I was following Jesus for what He could give me, not for Him. He is who I wanted, but I didn’t truly know Him. Yes, I knew Him as my Savior, but I didn’t know Him as the one who pursued me, desired me, and loved me through and through despite seeing the darkness and failings within me. The three years of removing the noise, or having it removed from me was what I needed to get to know this Savior of unconditional love who is worthy of everything.
...that I am God.
This is the reminder that I am not God and could never be. This is the reminder that God is in control, He is working everything for my good, and He knows what is best for me. This is a reminder that He can be trusted, He is almighty, omniscient, and omnipresent. As God, He is complete. He can never gain more goodness, glory, or power. He doesn’t need me, but He wants me. Even when I’m not working, pushing, and striving, He is fighting for me and doing all of the heavy lifting. I can be still and rest in Him because He is God and because He is my God.
My desire is that you don’t have to go through such darkness and suffering, but if you do, know that God is always with you, wooing you to Him. He is longing to lift the veil from your eyes, so that you can see how beautiful you are through His eyes. He wants you to get to know Him at a level where no other definition, label, or judgment of you matters but His. You can truly rest in Him. He is God. He is Love. He wants you to experience His joy of you through grace.
Lay aside the pursuit of worth, and rest in the worth Jesus proved for you on the cross. He made you worthy because He first loved you. You can rest in Him, you can trust Him, and you can learn that He is worthy of your love.