An uneasy spirit
We've unpacked Steve's story about rest. We've seen some of the various ways we can Sabbath. Yet for many of us, there remains an uneasiness about drawing near to God. It sounds more intimidating than restful. The idea of margin scares us because we are dealing with shame, or inadequacy, or loss, or something we don't even understand. Better to fill in those extra spaces with some activity or distraction that keeps me from having to deal with the fact that I wouldn't know what to say to God if we were ever alone together. Even worse, I hear others talking about it and I know I'm not there, and that adds even more stress to an already stressful existence....
If that's how you're feeling today, know you are not alone. I've been there. In a season when secret sin left me so ashamed that I could not face God, I was worn out from trying to white-knuckle my way toward my ideal of what a Christ-follower should look like. I had sought forgiveness for the same old habits so many times, I was quite certain that God did not want to hear from me again. We had an agreement: I wouldn't bother Him and He wouldn't bother me. Or so I thought.
Here's the thing. God loves us too much to leave us alone. The Holy Spirit continued to pester me until I had to admit that it was impossible for me to live as a Christian under my own power. I had to surrender. When I did that, I found a Father who was eager to accept me as I am, warts and all. I still didn't know what to say, but I didn't have to say anything. I didn't have to do anything. I just had to be. This is where the idea of sailing in Convoy gets real - we don't have to walk through this stuff alone.
"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
- Isaiah 54:10 (NIV)
My stuff was guilt. Yours may be a dad who never accepted anything you did as good enough. Or a business failure that shattered the financial dreams of your family. Or the loss of someone you can never replace. Or a wayward child. Or a million other things. Because we all have stuff. Some will argue that admitting our need is a sign of weakness. I would say, "So what? Denying the obvious is a sign of stupidity." Don't let your stuff keep you apart from a God who is crazy in love with you. Time to surrender.
Got another song for you, same artist as last week. Less than three minutes. Enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYiM-sOC6nE