Lately I have been struggling with a body that seems trapped. I long for freedom of body and mind. To journey life by going after my passion, without the limitations of being physically and emotionally exhausted. To accomplish what I have been gifted to do, with out constraint.
In the face of a medical procedure and Covid, I have been consistently fatigued in body and mind. I don’t know about you, but when I get physically fatigued, I often find my mind in turmoil. How easy it can spin out of control! Casting shadows of doubt on the One who I know loves me unconditionally, and the One who holds the answers for my weary state. God.
Isn’t it a bit odd that when I am the most tired, I begin to take things into my own hands? I begin to think I know better than the eternal God which way I should go?
You think tiredness would have me resting at His feet! Instead, I often find myself frantic with worry, often searching the internet for doable health solutions.
Why is it that I don’t immediately run-His-way and give my limitations to God? Why is it that trust in the Lord is not my immediate go-to? Why is it that for a few days I lean on my own, faulty-human-understanding, instead of the rock-solid foundation of Jesus Christ?
With on-going health concerns, I am constantly looking for just the right answers that will provide long term relief.
It is good to be your own health advocate, yet I have seen that there are also risks of missing the mark, when we begin to lean too heavily on our own human understanding.
How often have I asked God for answers, and yet denied the interventions He clearly put into my path? The interventions given may have seemed illogical or did not fit with the conventional wisdom of other health professionals, or online medical sites.
If we push the “I have a right to know” with God, and begin demanding answers, we will only end up feeling punished, jealous of others, angry, heart sick and feeling desperately alone.
God or His answers have not moved or been removed from us, but we have subtly turned our hearts from the one true source of solace and hope.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15 NIV
Here goes the confession! I admit, that I have been leaning in on my own understanding. Or lack of it! This lack has caused me to fret. It has placed me in a frenzy, pushing me deeper into the need to seek out, and learn what I obviously think I don’t understand about my health.
Learning is good, but not when we need to be leaning.
God commands us to lean in, because He knows that leaning in, is all that we have the energy for.
Leaning in is effortless, filled with comfort –
because of who we are leaning on.
In commanding us to lean in, He lovingly reminds us that in His quiet presence we will gain the rest we need. It is here in the leaning, that we end up finding the strength we need to quell all our questions.
When we lean in, we will find that God,
the solution giver,
is always waiting to offer us comfort and hope.
Trials come unaware, without our permission or approval. Oh, how I need to repent of my worry! Worry is not God’s design for our bodies or God’s way for us to walk. Leaning in allows me time to stop, repent, and rest from my worry, and ask for clarity in next steps for my health.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
Will you lean into the Shepherd? Will you purposefully lay aside striving, and allow Him to tend to your wounds? He knows what you need, when you need it, and how to administer hope through His eternal balm of love and selflessness.
The Shepherd is the tender of our souls. Let Him bind up your wounds and tend to your soul today. He knows you. He knows where you are prone to wander. He understands your bumps and bruises. He identifies with your pain.
Our trials often catch us off-guard. They sneak in like a silent intruder, or they burst in like a shocking tsunami. Either way they come without our approval or permission. It is easy during times of being off kilter to find ourselves seeking our own human answers, or frantically trolling the internet for a response that temporarily satisfies our concerns, or rushing to a friend to soothe our anxious hearts.
“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 11:28-30
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Soul rest does not come in what the doctor can or cannot do, or what information the internet yields. Our rest comes through repentance of our worry. A laying down of our anxiety. A leaning into the Shepherd who will lead and guide us in the way we should go.
The LORD is our Shepherd. He knows what we need. He is fully dependable. We can lean in fully, put the entire weight of our worries and cares upon Him. He will not topple over! He is fully trustworthy and loves us with an everlasting love.
Lean into Jesus the Shepherd. He knows just what you need.
When we lean into God, there is the anticipation that hope brings, along with divine fellowship and community, as we sit in His waiting room.
God, you are my peace. Forgive me that I have wandered off course and have looked for peace through my own efforts. This is not your way. Help me to lean in, and rest in You. You are my salvation. You are my strength. When I go my own way, I end up in a deeper thicket of tangled emotions, most of which I can’t even begin to sort out. In repentance and rest is my salvation.
God, I repent of worry. Worry has only made me more anxious and has had me placing my dependence in myself. God, I place my trust in you today. Thank you that in quietness and trust I will find strength. Quietness can’t come when I am in a frenzy, grasping for human answers. I desire to lean in, and wait for the soul rest, that you provide.
It is here, in your presence, God, where the voices that pull and push me are silenced. Here I find true soul rest. Forgive me that I am quick to search out my own solution, when you are urging me in love, to come and rest in the salvation you have already offered.
LORD, you are my Shepherd. Thank you that you know just what I need. AMEN
(Prayer scriptures: (Ephesians 2:14, John 16:33, Philippians 4:8, Isaiah 30:15, Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 23)
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7 NIV
“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2 NIV
LINDA JANE DINGELDEIN: DIFFERENT BY DESIGN
MIXED MEDIA BY LINDA JANE DINGELDEIN