Thursday, March 22, 2012

Just Stop

As long as we're on the subject of little whispers that make you just. stop., can we talk about another one? Or sort of.

We are a people who need to run to Jesus. And many of us do. When times are tough, we run to Him; we trust that He is the answer, or the peace. We trust that He is there...ready to run with us.

Isn't that how we approach it? It's how I did for a long, long time.

When the going gets tough, we run to Jesus, weary but with a dogged energy that won't let us stop. He renews our fire as we grab hold of His hand and drag Him along with us. We run to Him not for His sake, but for ours - to recruit Him into our battle. 'C'mon, Lord!' we cry out, pulling and tugging on Him. 'We can TOTALLY do this!'

Stop laughing. You know you've been there, too.

Well, I was in full 'C'mon Jesus!' mode one day awhile back, maybe a year or so. Who knows for sure. And as I reached out in my heart to grab His hand, He reached back. He didn't move. He wasn't gung-ho, wasn't hopping on the chariot and riding with me into battle. It was a calm, simple touch that as I thought about it, He'd probably laid on my hand before but I had been too frenzied to feel it. That day, I felt it.

And just. stopped.

I could see myself falling into His arms in that moment, Him catching me and pulling me close. I was overwhelmed by the warmth and tenderness in His touch...and by the sudden realization of how absolutely exhausted I was.

I mean, really. Who knew? I had the sense I was running ragged, but you never know how weary the fight has made you until that first moment when you surrender and don't have to fight any more.

You'd think that one moment would be enough, but it keeps happening again and again. You keep finding yourself falling into the arms of Christ and it is that first breath of rest all over again. Every time.

You just. stop.

Christ says, "Come to me, you who are weary. And I will give you rest."

He's right. He promised, and He delivers. But there's something else about the rest of Christ, something you wouldn't normally think of.

The rest we find in Christ is not an idle rest. It's not like the rest we find when we crawl into bed, when we just slow down and then quit as the last thoughts drain out of our minds until we slip away into the physical rest of sleep and can't do anything else because doing even one other thing negates the rest, it cancels our sleep.

The rest of Christ is an energizing rest. It is a contentment and a confidence that slows us down but spurs us on. It invites us to stop fighting but invigorates us to love. That love gives us the energy to live. And to serve. And to be. And ironically, to rest.

It's like this, and if you know me, you know I'm a "project" girl. When I'm getting into a project, I can get really energized and get into that 'C'mon Jesus!' mode where I'm just trying to drag Him into it. Like I volunteered us for this and together, we're gonna rock it! Let's go! And then it is trudgery. It becomes this muddled mess of pushing through and somewhere, I lost my passion. And I just turn to Him and say, "What happened?"

Then that touch. That gentle, calming touch of invitation. Just. Stop. And in that touch, He answers whatever frenzied question I wasn't aware I was asking by trying to prove myself and trying to get Him on board after I hadn't asked. But when we stop and talk about it, just the two of us, that calming touch and quiet answer still me. And I get it. Contentment and that ability to let go settle into my heart, but so does this confidence that it's He and I together, that it is going to rock. And that it isn't me; it's Him. And that I am not mine; I'm His. I am at peace. I am resting. And yet...I am fully energized to serve. To love. To live.

To be.

Where are you begging Him to 'C'mon!'? And what would happen if He stilled you there and you just. stopped.? What new energy would you find in the rest of Christ that your frenzied trudgery is sapping out of you today?

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