If only we had more money.
If only I had a date...
If only I could get my house really clean.
If only I had alone time.
If only I could sleep more.
Feeling inadequate and out of control of any number of life stresses, I feel small and weak. Instead of being humbled, I tend to reject the discomfort of my need, and become prideful. I demand control, believing that if I regain control, I will be restored. My wandering, grumbling heart searches for some end to my familiar fatigue.
IF ONLY I’D HOPE IN GOD
Here’s what my “if only’s” tell God: what he has given me in some moment is not good and I’ll hope when the conditions are met, not in him. Exhaustion is an occasion to demand, grumble or to find hope in God, again.
Recently, frazzled and mumbling “if only’s,” I opened Psalm 23 with a chaotic heart, throwing a silent fit with God: "OK, fine! I will read my Bible. I know that is what you want." The Psalm surprised and confronted me with words that exposed the sin of my misplaced hope.
God whispered through his word: "Daughter, I am your only restoration."
I foolishly believe I could escape exhaustion by submitting my “if only” list for God to fulfill totally missing that he is my greatest restoration. If God would just give me sleep or alone time, then I would be OK. But God, relentless in his faithfulness, reveals all the measly hopes of my soul being restored, because nothing actually satisfies a craving heart more than Jesus. When I’m tired, weak, and tempted, he gently leads me to himself.
“He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:2
It is he who restores my soul. All of the alone time and money in the world can’t compare to God’s presence. Clean homes and date nights are blessings, but meaningless without God’s presence enjoyed. Sure, sleep boosts my weary body, but my soul is only restored by Jesus.
GOD IS THE MEANS AND THE END
It’s not magic, though. I don’t just limp toward God’s word, open and magically return to my joyful and rested self. Sometimes, it is a tooth and nail fight to resist grumbling and doubt in my heart. To let God restore us is to want him more than the effects of being restored. Get that? It’s like wanting coffee merely for an energy boost, rather than its taste and aroma, too. God is not the way to get rest. He is both the way and the destination for our soul rest.
A QUIET, PEACEFUL JOY
As we submit our hearts to Jesus, weariness becomes a quiet joy. Our gloom turns to peace. God’s word gives us hope, as our weakness is laid at his feet, telling us that his power is made perfect in our weakness.
The precious gift of weakness shows us how powerful Jesus really is. It’s amazing. Wearily, we can come to the Father and he always meets us, comforts us, speaks to us, and holds us close. The only soul restoration is in God alone, and there’s no “if” to it: he always satisfies.
By Trisha Wilkerson for The Resurgence. For more resources like this, go to www.theresurgence.com
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