Today I welcome my friend and Proverbs 31 Ministries author, Glynnis Whitwer, to share from her new book, Doing Busy Better. Glynnis is also giving away a copy of Doing Busy Better to one of my readers. Plus, she has free downloads for all of you! Here’s Glynnis:
I’ve struggled with the biblical definition of God’s gift of rest for years.
Rest can feel elusive. That which should make us feel rested often doesn’t. Consider waking up after a restless night and your first thought being how early you can go back to bed.
Propping your feet on the coffee table after a long day of work, and turning on a recorded episode of Fixer Upper should make you feel rested. But all it does is make you wish you had an urban country industrial farmhouse. Dissatisfaction taps on your heart and the restlessness begins again.
Jesus spoke these words that whisper hope to every one of us worn down by the demands of life:
“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 in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)
Jesus invites us to come to Him, for the source of what feels elusive: soul rest.
Soul rest is deeper than any other kind of rest I’ve experienced. It’s not circumstantial, nor does it need to be renewed. Rather, soul rest has its roots in something unshakable. It is rooted in faith and confidence that we are deeply and unconditionally loved, and are held safe in the arms of our heavenly Father.
Soul rest and trust go hand in hand. Trust is such an easy word to voice, but a harder word to live. I know that. And I don’t want to spout easy Christian advice knowing you’ve heard it a thousand times. Instead, I want to share from my heart what has helped me find soul rest. And that’s identifying my source of security.
The opposite of security is insecurity, and insecurity makes us desperate. Have you ever hiked a mountain, only to slip on a steep slope? In that moment of falling, your mind will panic and you’ll grab for anything that seems secure. As soon as you grasp a rock, you relax.
In that moment, security replaces panic with peace.
What makes something secure? It’s when it’s attached to something immovable.
For example, if I’m camping and secure the tent to the metal tent poles, and the tent poles are secure in the immovable ground, the tent won’t fly away at the first gust of wind.
But when something isn’t secured to an immovable object, there’s always the chance of damage when it faces opposition. If I pound tent stakes into sand, and a storm arises, sleep will not be possible. Instead I’ll spend my time worrying about the tent flying away, or I’ll be up moving it to solid ground.
Insecurity in our lives can be much like this. Our souls long for security, to be grounded in that which will not move. When we aren’t grounded, we subconsciously know our foundation is insecure and changing, which causes us to worry and work harder in a vicious cycle. Rest will seem impossible in this state.
But what a difference it makes when we secure the truth about ourselves to the immovable truth of God. That truth can’t be shaken by circumstances because God can’t be shaken.
As I’ve pondered this idea, I’ve identified several places where I’ve attached what I believe to something shifting. Three areas specifically: my safety, my future and my identity.
I thought I was safe if my circumstances were safe. False. I thought my future was secure if my job and finances were in order. False. And I thought my identity was solid when I was “performing” well. False again.
As I’ve learned to reassign trust away from untrustworthy things, I experienced soul rest for the first time.
I realize this world isn’t trustworthy, but God is. And although life won’t be perfect until we reach heaven, we can’t let our souls rise and fall on the insecurity of life.
God can be trusted. This is the message that will free each of us to experience the abundant life Jesus offered. Not abundant with work, but overflowing with love, and filled with the true soul rest we long for.
And when we truly trust God, our striving will fall away and soul rest will take its place.
Comment below and share how you enjoy the gift of God’s rest in your life. One random winner will be chosen to win a copy of Doing Busy Better and will notified by email (U.S. addresses only please).
In Doing Busy Better, Glynnis helps you examine your heart and your schedule in order to seek a healthy, holy, and enjoyable balance between work and rest. Most importantly, she shows you that your worth is found not in your accomplishments but in the love of the One who made you for work and for rest. Glynnis has five mobile lockscreens you can download to be reminded of what God’s Word says about rest by subscribing here. You can also download a sample chapter of Doing Busy Better, and if you purchase a copy, be sure to redeem your receipt to receive a FREE companion Study Guide. Get the details here.
Glynnis Whitwer is Executive Director of Communications for Proverbs 31 Ministries, and contributor to their Encouragement for Today devotional, reaching over a million women each day. She’s the author of nine other books, including Taming the To-Do List and I Used to Be So Organized. She and her husband, Tod, live in Arizona and have five young-adult children. Connect with Glynnis at www.GlynnisWhitwer.com where she encourages women to live with margin and room to breathe while still getting things done.