Here is the final post in my four-part Rest series, originally published in Arkansas Baptist News.
A new year has arrived, bringing with it a slower pace of life. But to get here, I had to survive a typical fall in the Hibbard household. Every year the stretch between the end of October through the end of December is a very busy time for us. This year was no exception.
But right in the middle of the busyness, God reinforced His lesson on rest. Oh, He had already given me the idea. I had even journaled it months before. But, it wasn’t until I had come to the end of a very rough week that He reminded me of one more truth He had taught me about rest.
Rest is not just relational, expected, and sacrificial. Rest is also total trust.
In all honesty, I had been trying to rest in the midst of the chaos. But, I did it my way. I allotted time to attend Christmas parties and enjoy the fellowship. I sacrificially set aside my todo list on multiple occasions, supposedly in the name of rest. But I forgot that all of these things must be bound together by a conscious focus on total obedience.
You see, rest is not just about coming up with ways to interact with others, to meet an expectation, or to sacrifice when an opportunity seems to arise. Rest is about walking in complete trust and obedience, allowing God to handle every single detail, every single time.
When I tried to do life, whether work or rest, my way, I fell apart. I failed. My todo list backed up and my relationships became strained. I neglected to fulfill obligations, and no amount of time set aside for rest seemed to rejuvenate me.
I did not find real rest again until I stepped back to see how I had failed to trust and obey the Lord. Rest returned only when I actively and consciously began to walk once again in total surrender.
Now we face a new year. If it moves even half as quickly as 2014 did, many of us will once again come to the end of it feeling harried and tired. But God offers the rest we need to make 2015 a year of complete abandon to Him. Complete obedience. Complete trust. And complete rest.
I am not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I do hunger to make a new commitment this year. I hunger to live this year centered in the total rest of Christ.
Will you join me?