You can rest if you surrender control. Most of us are afraid of letting go. If you have ever engaged in a tug of war, the winner is the one who gets their team to come over to their side. In some cases, everyone is left standing, but the flag is moved to the winning side. Other times, the opposing team goes down and depending on how hard the winners pull, they might go down too. Although we might not be in elementary school anymore, some of us are still good at the tug of war. We are tired, burned out, worn out, and being encouraged to come to God, but we would rather fight the process than surrender. In our wisdom, we keep pulling and tugging in the opposite direction of what God has for us.
• God tells us that He will give us rest. We say “uh huh” to ourselves and continue to do things the way they have always been done. This leads to frustration and fatigue.
• We tell God how we are going to manage things. Whenever we feel we are giving in to His way of doing things, then we quickly try to regain control because we are afraid of anything that challenges us and is unexpected.
• In some cases, we have made our plans idols. How can we explain doing things a different way than everyone is doing them? How can we justify abandoning our nets to follow God? How can we lay down our positions, our titles, and our comforts to follow God into the unknown?
Matthew 11:29 challenges us to get away from the norm and fully engage in the journey of recovering our lives. I have been in procedures and before being released, I stayed in recovery. Recovery is a time of observation by doctors and nurses who want to make sure everything is okay. Coming out of anesthesia, you aren’t able to drive even if you say otherwise. You must be cared for someone who can get you to where you need to go and watch your progress. I remember going to the dentist office and saying “I got this! Let me move about.” Let’s say I don’t remember anything after that point.
God is calling many of us, me included, to not only rest but to surrender control. To be open that I don’t have the answers for my life without His guidance and I need to lean into Him to make wise decisions. I hear someone saying, “If I surrender, what happens if…” When we surrender, no matter how scary it feels we are in the best position possible with God.
• We learn His ways and His nature.
• We learn how to depend on Him for instruction.
• We learn where we are not “resting” in Him and adjust when He says adjust.
The best part about surrendering control, even though it can be frightening, is that we are not making any decision alone. God is showing us how things can work without striving.
• Our schedules can be simplified as we identify what God wants us to do versus what we have accepted doing because our identity is in Him.
• We realize we may not be able to control situations and people around us, but we can choose to respond in peace.
• We understand that God’s goal for our health isn’t for us to look like a model; it is to take care of our temples so you can be the best you.
• You learn to manage the things you can control and create systems to stay on task versus worrying about what you cannot control.
God doesn’t want us to live life in a tug of war match. He is a gentleman, and He will graciously allow us to keep hitting the proverbial wall. It is much easier when you admit that you need Him and aren’t going to fight Him working in your life any longer. God is much stronger than we are and usually, we tire ourselves out. I challenge you to find His rest by surrendering control.
Questions to Consider:
1. What are 1 or 2 things you are trying to control? Why?
2. How would trusting those things to God allow you to rest? Write, draw, or think of a song that demonstrates what this rest looks like.