Have you ever watched a child sleep?
My younger son is now 20 months old, but he is still beautiful when he sleeps. He took an extra long nap today after a short sleep last night. I went to check on him a couple of times, and had to restrain myself from taking his face in my hands and covering him with kisses.
So calm. So content. Not a care in the world.
"I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O LORD,
make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8
I have been thinking about the concept of resting in God lately. I seem to be continually encouraging people in my life to stop striving, trying to measure life by achievements and accomplishments, and just rest in Him. Like a good father or mother, God watches over us, carrying us, when we rely on and cling to Him.
"He will not let your foot slip;
He who watches over you will not slumber
Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you;
The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm;
He will watch over your life.
The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." Psalm 121:3-8
Are you resting in God, secure in His love? Allowing your worth to be found in Him and who He created you to be, rather than what you do and accomplish?
We generally spend a lot of time doing what I've heard called "should-ing on yourself".
"I should be doing this; I shouldn't be doing that. I should have accomplished this, I should be at this certain point by now." Of course, it's good to recognize what is beneficial in our lives and what is not, what is edifying and uplifting and what is dragging us down.
But what types of feeling do these "should" statements usually bring up in us? Encouragement and passion for growth? Or shame and condemnation? It's usually the latter.
Whose arbitrary standards are we trying to meet, anyway?
That's why resting in God is so important. When we rest in Him, He puts in us a desire to do those things He wants for us to do, not what we or someone else thinks we should be doing or achieving.
Cling to Jesus. Come to Him as you are.
When you are struggling, even in the moment, invite God in. Allow Him to just love you because He loves you - not for anything you've done or will do, but because He created you, He called you by name, and you have been adopted into His family. This may not be how your family & friends have treated you, or even how you treat yourself, but it's how God treats you. He desperately wants to love you and fill you with His peace.
So stop. Right now. Plant your feet firmly on the floor and imagine that God is your firm foundation. Take a deep breath. Like a baby bird, picture yourself resting in the shadow of His wing.
"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17
My little one was so exhausted that he slept for 3 hours in perfect peace. His brother and I finally woke him with snuggles and kisses.
Your Heavenly Father delights in you. Soak that in. He sings over you, quieting you with His love.
Rest in Him. His burden is light.