Back in the olden days, I only had one child. This child, sweet Addie, was and is, my best sleeper. In fact, both her father and I were pretty darn good sleepers too. The amount of crazy going on when she was born is mind-numbing to consider now. We moved 4 times before she was 5 months old. One of those moves was across the planet. And yet, when the time came to unplug the old brain, somehow, I was able. Maybe more significantly though, SHE slept, well . . . . like a baby. On every journey, she was unperturbed by the constant change. Notice how both J and I have our arms tucked around her, holding her safely? Apparently, that was enough.
These days, having lived in the same house for nearly seven years, but with two more, less-sleepy children, rest is more elusive. As I stated in my previous post, He Makes Me Lie Down, finding rest is not my forte. Maybe I lack trust in My Father?
Moreover, I’ve come to discover that I’m not the only one with this problem. Many other women have agreed that having the peaceful, quiet, contented life advocated in Scripture is easier said than done.
AND YET, dang it if I don’t still STRONGLY believe that this Biblical promise of peace and rest is for REAL. Surely God is not dangling this rest-carrot in front of me to toy with me and cause me to run myself ragged with frustration and disappointment?
I’ve concluded that I need to readjust what I think, and know, and believe, about peace and rest, digging into Scripture and ferreting out the truth.
I know that there are dozens of Christian books on this subject and plenty of teachers who could inform my learning, but at this stage, I really feel the need to plunge in myself. While I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE a great dynamic teacher and a well written Bible study, sometimes afterwards, I feel like I am incapable of opening God’s Word on my own. Oftentimes, the week after a powerful study finishes, my Bible sits limply on my lap, and I feel inadequate to learn anything on my own.
Here’s a word picture. From the time they are little, I cut my children’s food for them. In fact, when they were tiny, I mashed and pulverized it so they could digest it. But now, they can pretty much all cut their own food. In spite of this, they will often ask or demand that I cut up their food for them, making it palatable. The thing is: they need to be able to cut up their food WITHOUT ME.
Similarly, I think we as women need to graduate to the point where we are ABLE and willing to dig into God’s Word ourselves, without always having a printed study or video teacher to walk us through, dissecting and digging out truth for us. This is not to discount or eliminate the benefit of these books and study resources. Definitely not. I just know that at this stage, God is challenging me and maybe YOU, to see what I can do with His Word and His Spirit to guide us.
1 John 2:27 says “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.”
RIGHT?!? This notwithstanding, I know that accountability and fellowship are helpful as we seek to understand Scripture. In my experience as a profoundly nerdy English major, I’ve often learned the most, not through lectures or workbooks, but through study groups with my peers, where we talked through our texts and notes together, agreeing, disagreeing, diving into the material.
To that end, I’m initiating a study group, a “rest workshop” called Finding the Rest of My Faith. It will begin January 23rd at 7:15 PM in Waxhaw and run 6 Thursday nights. If you’re interested in attending, message me and I’ll send you the address. (Same place as usual for you old hats. Don’t you love it when I call you “Old Hats”?)
And it won’t be Nap Class. (Sigh. I’m a little sad about that too, honestly.) I’ll just facilitate by bringing questions and Scriptures to guide us as we dig in then and there. My hope is that you will come with Scriptures and questions that intrigue you too. You can also bring tablets or laptops if you want to access online concordances or study aids. This workshop is free, there’s no book (except your Bible), no one teacher, and no video. This is the bare, stripped down deal.
If rest, peace, and contentment have been eluding you; if you have been wanting to Find the Rest of Your Faith; if these posts are resonating with you; I invite you to come join us as we pursue it for ourselves. Let me know if you are planning to attend because if there is a ginormous response, I’ll have to seek out a bigger venue.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Also, there are a few interested in an online component, but I’ll need some help if that is to become a reality. How would that work? Any suggestions?)