Wrestling with Rest

One more week of nanny life and then it’s on to the next thing God has for me. All well and good, except that He hasn’t filled me in on what that next thing is. The unknown is not a comfortable place to be. It’s an anxious place. It’s a shaky place. It’s a restless place. I don’t like it. Not one bit.

So, I find it frustrating that God keeps throwing the same word in front of my face everywhere I turn. REST.

I’m packing boxes to move for the fourth time in less than two years. How am I supposed to rest? I don’t know what the heck is going on with my life. How am I supposed to rest? I am confused, upset and disappointed. How am I supposed to rest?

Friday night, I attended the Aspire Women’s Conference with some friends. The event was on my calendar before unemployment was. I guess God knew I’d need an extra dose of truth right about now.

Gwen Smith, one of the Aspire speakers, had the nerve to get up there and talk about, of all things, REST.

Rest…right in the middle of my mess and my questions and my disappointment.

When I’m wrestling with something God wants me to know or do, I always do it in prayer. It’s that pray without ceasing thing. I can’t get away from it.

Well, today, I’m wrestling with rest. Gwen shared her take on R.E.S.T., and it’s worth sharing.


I’m worn slap out. You’d think I’d jump at the chance to rest, but rest seems unnatural at a time like this. I need to be problem-solving and job-hunting and hoop-jumping.

But You say, “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 11:28-29 NIV).

Rest is what I need, Lord. And it’s the most important thing I need to be doing right now. I must R.E.S.T. to have the strength to keep moving forward in Your plan for me.


Hard times bring out my inner worry-wart. Jennifer Rothschild says worry is a form of meditation. I turn my troubles over and over in my mind until they become so large there’s no room for anything else. Please forgive me for worrying when You plainly told me not to (Matthew 6:25-34).

I choose to reflect on who You are and what Your Word says. Focusing on what’s wrong isn’t doing me a bit of good. Refocus me, Lord. I know the more I reflect on You, the more I will reflect You in my words, my attitudes and my actions. Oh Lord, You know my heart. You know I want to reflect You.


As I ponder who You are, I can’t help but engage with You. I need to know You more, Lord. I need to talk to You more. I need to listen to You more. I need You. 

Gwen Smith said engaging with You won’t necessarily change my circumstances, but it will change me. I want to do life Your way, Lord. The more I connect with You, the more Your character will rub off on me. Please keep me pulled in close to Your heart, Lord. I want my heart to beat in tune with Yours.


Lord, my way isn’t working. Whatever You want to do, Lord, do it. I surrender to Your correction and Your comfort. I surrender to Your discipline and Your divine appointments. I surrender to Your will, Your way, and Your wildest dreams for my life. Where my desires don’t match up to Yours, change my mind and heart. 


Lord, I feel like the man in Mark 9 who came to You, desperate, for help with his demon-possessed son. 

“If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:22-24 NIV).

I trust You, Lord, but I don’t trust You enough. Help me to take You at Your word. Help me to believe Your words are true, even when I can’t see what You’re up to. Help me believe You’ll work even this mess out for my good and Your glory (Romans 8:28).

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust'” (Psalm 91:1-2 NIV). I will be a “whoever.” I will rest in You.

In the name of Jesus, I say AMEN


Sharing Tears

When hard times come, some friends cement their status as priceless treasures. I hate to brag, but I am filthy rich in supportive friends. Praying friends. Hugging friends. Need-meeting friends. Time-spending friends. Truth-telling friends.

But the ones I feel most tender toward today are my tear-sharing friends. Friends whose compassion pours right down their cheeks.

My tears have been plentiful lately. Sometimes, life plain hurts. Between the impending divorce and losing my job, my heart feels pretty pummeled. Sometimes, I’m tempted to think God’s picking on me.

But then I show up on my friend’s doorstep, and I’m met with a tight hug and grieving tears. Somehow, I feel less alone and more understood. Her tears feel like Jesus.

And then I show up to my Bible study class with my sweet ladies and fill them in on my latest predicament, and the next thing I know, we’re all sitting around the table bawling. And my pain feels divvied up around the table instead of just on me. Their tears feel like Jesus.

And then my cousin calls all the way from Tennessee. The cousin who taught me how to have a quiet time when I was a little girl. The cousin with a degenerative disease of the nervous system that daily steals a little bit more from her. And we cry together over how hard life can be. And we remind each other that God’s got us. Her tears feel like Jesus.

“Jesus wept,” (John 11:35 NIV). Such a short verse with such a long message.

A message of empathy. A message of understanding. A message of compassion.

Some speculate Jesus wept with Mary and Martha, overcome with grief over their brother’s death. Others say He wept because He knew he was about to call Lazarus back to earth from the perfect peace of heaven. Maybe it was both. Maybe it was something else. Bottom line, Jesus cared, and His compassion got His beard wet.

The tears my loved ones shed over me both broke and healed my heart. I hate for anyone’s heart to hurt on my account. But to be loved like that? Mercy!

I want to love like that.


Thank you for the miracle power of sharing tears. Nothing looks more like You. Please give me a heart like that. A heart that breaks for what others are going through. A heart with tears for more than my own pain. A heart like Yours.  In the compassionate name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN

Who can you share tears with today?