The world, as we are, are addicted to speed. We are taught to get things done, and find solutions when problems occur. Quickly. With everything moves and changes so rapidly nowadays, pausing and resting will cost us dearly. Japan created the fastest ever bullet train, Shinkansen, running at 500km/hour. I mean, how fast would you want to get somewhere without risking your nose moving to the back of your head? The power of iPhone, in which you can talk, take note, take and send messages and photos and videos, talk to and see your friend, listen to music, read, play games (anything else I missed?), has swept the world. Indomie, kebanggaan Indonesia, requires 10minutes max, some water and a saucepan and a plate for you to enjoy it. And some cutleries, of course, unless you eat mi goreng with your hand. As ‘healthy’ as they may be, people love the quick and simple solution to get what they want. The world demands us, pushes us to be fast and efficient. Straight-forward and yet flexible to changes, following the trend. Bosses don’t wait for workers to feel good to get their tasks done; finish your job, find solution to problems, produce something meaningful, or you’re history.

Now, in contrary, today God taught me about rest.

He saw how I’ve struggled for a while to compete with my surroundings. He knew how troubled I have been, thinking that I was not good enough, I was not productive enough. That I am nothing, because I have done nothing.

But God is a loving God. As I am renewing my walk with God, He has graciously taught me about His heart. He pulled me back under His wings, and nurtured me back to life. The more I spent time with Him, the more revived I was. As I poured my heart to Him, He opened my eyes and ears to receive His promises, to ease my burden, to calm my troubled soul. I believe that He is faithful, He will fulfil His promises.

But as time went by, I grew restless. I questioned God’s timing; “If You said that You would do something at around this time, why am I not seeing anything yet? Why haven’t things start to change?”, my heart complained. And then I thought, “if God promised us something, do we just wait until it happens, or do we also take part in making it happen?”.  I started to search for logical solutions to solve my problems, believing that I was ‘doing my part’, alongside God who is doing His. But the more I dived myself into ‘doing my part’, slowly I became obsessed with finishing the ‘project’, and I couldn’t wait to pass the finish line and celebrate. Slowly I no longer running alongside Him; I tried to outrun Him.

And naturally, the struggle floated back to the surface. Like a columnist with a deadline, I tried to push things towards God’s timing. I became so frustrated, because obviously, nothing seemed to work. Like a circle trying to fit into the mould of a triangle, I put pressure on myself, on others, but nothing seemed to go my way. You see, I started to forget that it was God’s way to begin with. It was God’s promise that I will definitely receive what I was praying for. But I obviously didn’t trust Him enough. This reminded me of what Pastor Floyd Ellsworth shared in 3rd service earlier this month at church.

“God has the blueprint of our lives. We don’t have to figure out everything. He’d rather not have you asking about His plan, because we tend to ruin them. We might leave Him, running ahead of Him or try to help Him. No, He’d rather have you take His hand and walk with Him, and let Him show you the fulfilment of His promise.”

Ps Floyd continued with the story of Abraham (then-Abram) and the cost of Sarah’s (then-Sarai) distrust and disobedience towards God. She ran ahead of God’s timing and tried to help Him executed His promise, which resulted in the birth of Ishmael [Genesis 16]. Though God also loved Ishmael, but he wasn’t part of God’s initial promise. God still kept His promise to Abraham by giving him a son through Sarah, but Sarah’s disobedience brought war that is still continuing till this very day.

If only Sarah rested in God.

I learned that resting is NOT the same as not doing anything,  so I should not feel guilty about it. He invited me to learn something different, and I am so happy whenever He is teaching me something. He reminded about a few things we can do while we are resting in Him.

Open yourself up to Him. [1 Peter 5:7]
Soak up, bask yourself in His love. [Ephesians 2:4-5]
Let Him fill your cup, satisfying your soul. [Psalm 23]
Let Him renew your strength. [Isaiah 40:31]
Let His peace calms your soul. [John 14:27]
Drown, immerse yourself in Him. [Ezekiel 47:3-5]
Give thanks for the works He has done in your life. [Philippians 4:6]
Get to know Him. Let Him show Himself to you. [Jeremiah 29:13-14a]
Praise Him, simply and surely because He is worthy to be praised. [Psalm 34, 103]

There’s a time for everything. And this is the time for me to rest. Yes, I have to do my part, because God also wants me to learn to walk in faith. But now I know He’d rather have me do nothing and rest, than run ahead of Him, thinking that I’m doing the right thing and end up ruining His plan. He reminded me to immerse myself deeper in Him, just like the water in the river at the time of Ezekiel. So when the time comes for me to move, I will move in obedience, in synchronise with Him 🙂 So that the pieces of the puzzle – my piece and His piece – will fit perfectly, and bring honour to Him.

Obedience protects. King Jehosaphat obeyed God and rest in the Lord by praising Him with his army instead of running down to the battle ground and trying to fight off the attacking nations. [2 Chronicles 20:1-30]. Joshua obeyed God and circling the wall of Jericho in praises, exactly as how God asked Him to, instead of trying to penetrate the wall and probably got killed by the army of the city. [Joshua 6]. It might seem ridiculous when time starts running out, yet God asks us to be still and rest in Him. Most of our first reaction would be, “But it doesn’t make sense!!”. But He has a purpose in every word He says, He has a plan in every guidance He gives. Our solutions, however logical or sensible they may seem, sometimes are not God’s ways. Obeying God and walk on our own understanding could be a matter of life and death, physically or spiritually. Look at what Saul had done to himself. [1 Samuel 15]. When God asked me to rest in Him, I know He is protecting me. Might be from others, might be from myself. O yes I know how much damage I could make if I was given the chance. And I thank Him for shielding me from the chaos I could create for myself.

When we rest in God, He will freely, abundantly give us rest [Matthew 11:28]. He is absolutely joyful in the idea of giving Himself to us. He delights in us, more and more as we come near to Him. As I learned to know the heart of my God, I pray that I may obey Him; this is my living sacrifice to Him. To trust in His timing and His hand; there’s no way He’ll miss His own timing! As our souls find rest in Him, we may see that He is faithful to us. As I am resting and pausing from things that are worrying me, I may see that God’s timing will be perfect in me.

Thank you, Father, for teaching me. I am humbled by Your love ❤

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken [Psalm 62:5-6]

Find rest my soul, in Christ alone
Know His power, in quietness and trust [Still – Hillsong]

Advertisements