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Rest in Unrest

The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. Matt. 8:25-26

I woke up periodically throughout the night with my heart racing, which despite my hyperactive self isn’t actually normal for me. My life has way too many balls in the air for my own peace of mind, however, with each uncertain outcome contingent upon another uncertain outcome. Just one example: We are supposed to move this week but the closing date may now be in question. Do we pay our rent at the new place or pay our mortgage here and delay the rent or end up paying both? I so wanted to move the disorder of boxes, packing and chaos that is taking over this home to our apartment where I hope external order can be quickly attained and where we could enter a real season of finally being settled after living for so long in a house on the market. I want environmental order in which to quiet my thoughts and emotions and instead it just seems to get more chaotic.

So, as genuine rest has eluded me and I felt my pulse racing through the night, I wondered how in the world the person and work of Jesus might prevent me from having a stroke twenty years younger than when my mom had hers. First, God reminded me that a stroke isn’t the worst thing in the world because even that can’t separate me from His love and presence and detailed control of all my cirmumstances for the coming of His kingdom. So, that was one less worry. (: Then, ever so quietly, He let me see how much I look to my own micro-managing of circumstances and even of my physical environment for peace and rest. He would like to offer me something better.

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?… For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matt. 6:26, 32-34

God answers my panicked cry of “Lord save me!” by gently redirecting my focus from the turbulence around me to the cause of unrest in my heart, which is “O you of little faith.” My fear of the large waves which might (or might not) overturn my boat, my fear of the lightening which might (or might not) electricute me, my fear of the now unknown timing of our move which is supposed to start in three days, the possible additional expenses, the certain emotional upheaval, the unknown timing and process of renovating the final home in which we hope to live…my heavenly Father knows exactly what we need (and what I don’t need). Can I not trust Him? If there are additional expenses, will He not provide for exactly what He knows we actually need? If we run out of bread, can I trust His kingdom purposes behind even that? In whom am I placing my faith?

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Matt. 14:31-32

My default mode is to place my faith (and therefore hope, trust, confidence, peace, etc.) in my planning, my list making, my budgeting, my foresight, my calendar, my schedule as if I have been left an orphan by my heavenly Father to survive and thrive by my own resources. I am seeking after the security (and sanity) of my own kingdom. He is asking me to seek after His.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7

Oh may my heart not take even these familiar words of God and turn them into any form of DIY faithfulness, but rather see in them the beauty of a faith which rests completely in the trustworthy hands of my creator, redeemer and Abba Daddy. His peace and rest can transcend even the most unpredictable, disorderly and threatening environment in a deep and genuine way that no amount of organizational genius ever can. May I begin to taste what it is to experience this rest in the midst of unrest!

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