I haven’t written in a while. I haven’t journaled. I haven’t added to my book. I spent some time in the trenches. It’s okay to be there. Jesus was tempted in the desert, and I’m sure that time surely wasn’t peachy. I feel like this trench time has been pretty trial-ridden in its own way. I was sinking and knew I needed to find a lifeline. I know the Lifeline.
But few weeks ago, I simply couldn’t. You know, I just couldn’t. I couldn’t find words to reach out to my Lifeline. The unending to-do list was growing and my motivation to accomplish anything was dwindling, and with those obstacles, I sunk deeper within myself rather than reaching out. I was sleeping in and taking naps and overall hiding from my responsibilities. I was functioning out of obligation, not out of passion for the called place I am in life: motherhood, marriage, friendship, and my small work from home job.
God has gifted me so abundantly with a really incredible, beautiful life. He’s answered so many of my prayers, so many cries of my heart. And even though I could list an unending number of hurts and scars, my blessings list is far longer.
Yet, sinking I was. (#yoda. hah)
I reached for my Bible because speaking to my audibly silent God through prayer felt very one-sided. I mean, it’s half my fault. When prayer is done out of obligation rather than authentic praise and connection, it’s not exactly an effective form of fellowship. So, I reached for my Bible and I’ve, for some reason, have always found comfort in the Old Testament. Since Bible College, I really grew to love the way God connected with His people, the way He foreshadowed and pointed Jews and Gentiles alike toward Jesus, without them even knowing Him yet.
So I found a study through the Bible App and cracked open Genesis in expectation.
It was there that I read about the first rhythm; God’s weekly rhythm. Work, then rest. Genesis 2:2-3 says, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
It struck me.
He finished His work.
He rested on the seventh day.
He made the rest day holy.
H rested from all the work of creating.
And it got me thinking. I remember being mind-blown when my Professor in college broke down God establishing the first week. How God set a rhythm for us. He worked and He rested. Yet, God doesn’t need rest. He doesn’t grow weary like us human beings. However, He found it important enough to rest on the seventh day. Why? Because He knew we would need rest. He knew we would need to call it quits for a hot minute, finish our work, take a good, holy rest, and cease our work of creating.
What does that mean for you? I don’t know. Hah.
But I can tell you what it means to me, and maybe you’ll feel some conviction or encouragement or connection to this too.
When I read that, I asked myself, are you practicing God’s ordained rhythm?
Let me explain.
I was trying to run at a breakneck pace. So much so that I grew so very weary that I crashed. I was fighting the natural depression that comes with remembering the pain and grief of losing two parents, was taking care of my babies in solitude and not connecting with my usual tribe due to pandemic circumstances (thanks COVID), was trying to put in several hours of work per week for my boss (who is a gem and really lets me determine my schedule, but like, still gotta clock those hours, you know??), was exercising 4-5 times a week because I love it (but it still takes 30-45 minutes of my valuable time), was trying to write my book, was trying to start a blog, and CRASH she went.
I don’t say that to be all “woe is me”. We all have unending to-do lists. What I am trying to say here is, I was doing most of those things most days of the week. I was scheduling every second of my day and hardly fitting time to rest, to be, to allow and invite the Lord to fill me. My cup was running empty because I wasn’t resting. I could feel that, so I kept sleeping more. Like that’ll fix a heart issue, Rachael.
*insert eye rolling emoji here*
What’s more, when God worked, when He created, He said “it was good”. Hello, conviction. Before He even planned the rest, He did His work well. I was doing neither.
I was pushing so hard that my efforts were half-hearted and less than excellent, and I wasn’t resting in a way that was cup-filling.
And I was paying for it.
Is what I’m creating, the work I’m doing, good? Is it intentional? Is it purposeful? Or am I completing my obligatory, seemingly mundane tasks with zero life, zero passion, and zero focus on the fact that I’m doing those tasks because God has called me to do them?
He doesn’t expect you to run at a breakneck pace. He doesn’t expect you to go go go until you accomplish everything on your list.
He asks that you work well and rest well. Create well and rest well. Connect well and rest well.
I’m feeling that. Are you feeling that?
I’m so thankful I’ve spent the past two weeks diving directly into the Word in Genesis. That I’m reminding myself of the beginning, of the grace that the Lord has poured out from the very start of time as we know it. These rhythms, the rhythms of rest, are exactly the life-giving rhythms that tell my anxiety, “you are not welcome here. I have found rest for my soul.”
Oh Jesus, thank you for carrying my burdens and making the weight of life lighter.
“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 of heart; and you will find rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30