Stop “Resisting” “Rest”

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Do you need “REST” are you “TIRED”?

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Matthew 11:28 says

“Come to me, all who are weary & burdened, & I will give you rest.”

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If you read this verse as a letter from God to you, it would read like this:

“Come to me. You are weary & burdened. I will help you rest.”

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The only thing hindering us from resting is us.

R-E-S-T : Rest is what we ask for, long for, dream of; but most of the time we never truly rest. We may sit for awhile, but our muscles are still tense, our hearts heavy, and minds running around.

R-E-S-I-S-T: Resist is what we mainly do, especially if it means we have to sit down. Children resist naps and bedtimes everyday, every hour, every second of the day. They hate to sit down and take a nap even if their eyes are heavy- they fight each moment of “rest.”

Just like toddlers, we are Gods children. And like children we “resist” Gods “Rest”. We fight our sleep and throw a fit. We want rest but we don’t want to set down and take a break like God tells us we so desperately need. Just as a mother would try to explain to her child that they need their nap, they do not understand and fit it anyways. We too do not understand at times that we need a “nap time” and a break just sitting with God.

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When Rest & Resist are looked at the only letter that’s different between them is the ( I ) . I, myself, & whom ever reading this:

I must put myself aside and let God give me rest . I cannot give myself rest. I cannot lift these burdens. I cannot fix my own broken heart. I cannot see tomorrow. So if we stop resisting- and take out the ( I ), God will step in and give us the rest- we asked for.

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With that being said, I want to talk to you about a small person in the Bible I read about that most of the time gets over looked. This man is found in Judges 3:31 & his name is Shamgar.

” After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed six hundred men of the Philistines with an ox goad; & he also delivered Israel.” Judges 3:31

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t know about this guy. Who is he? Why is this mentioned and what does this guy have to do with “rest in God”.

As I was reading my devotional this morning (Embraced by Lysa Terkeurst), this verse was talked about. I opened my bible and sure enough- there was Shamgar. A small sliver in the Bible. Nothing huge, nothing more said.

Shamgar was a farmer. He wasn’t a mighty warrior, yet he was mentioned in the Bible & without him, At the time Israel would have fallen from what I understand. Shamgar also wasn’t a person who probably treated right in his lifetime. He was half Gentile and half Jew. His name is also Canaanite and not Hebrew, but that didn’t stop God from using him.

There isn’t anything “great” about Shamgar. He is an ordinary

Hard working guy just tending to his Cows or sheep, but what got to me isn’t what is written in the pages of the Bible-but what God showed me through this small verse.

In the world there will be “big” names that pass through. You may feel overwhelmed, overlooked, and overworked often in life. We take on burdens that we are not designed for and we run ourselves ragged. Shamgar probably did that as well. There was a war near his home, you don’t think he was scared from time to time? Stressed out? Worried? He was human, but Shamgar let God use him. He stopped “Resisting” and “Rested” in the fact that God is God and he can and will carry him- even through a war.

So picture this:

Shamgar (the farmer) just out and about doing his daily chores. Feeding cows, tending to the house work, etc and 600 Philistine soldiers surrounded your place…. I would probably panic, but Shamgar prepared for that day. Yet he fought all of them with an “ox goad” or other words “cattle prod”.

Shamgar defeated, 600 soldiers who came with swords – but he won with a cattle prod? Talk about trusting God! You see all of their weapons had been taken away so Shamgar took his cattle prod and sharpened it like God told him too.

Shamgar probably didn’t think what he was doing was very important or interesting, especially because he was a “nobody” to the world – so he thought. God sees us, even if we are tending to our farms, tending to our housework, tending to children, or anything your doing. He is preparing you daily for a battle you may have to fight with a cattle prod….

Shamgar also delivered Israel that day. He saved the day! A small battle- one man verses 600 delivered Israel.

This small verse is a reminder of what God can do. Spiritual you maybe surrounded by 600 things that are trying to defeat you and you do not think you have any weapons to defeat them, but you do… If Shamgar can use a cattle prod & Hod can use that to deliver a nation; he can defeat anything your coming up against. You have to stop “resisting” his “rest” and step aside for this to work. If Shamgar would have resisted God’s rest he may have been killed. Rest is crucial in life, but if your not getting rest from God- you too may be defeated spiritual & even physically.

You may think your a “nobody”, but God sees you. You may not leave a huge mark on this world, but even the tiniest footprint leaves a big impact. Stop resisting and start resting.

Thank you & have a wonderful day,

Marli

Angel Mom to Rhett Alec

God is good? All the time?

We’ve heard the phrase, “God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.”

What do you do when you don’t feel like God is being good ? Especially not all the time!?

If we were honest with ourselves and the world, we would say that we do not feel good about God all the time… I know as a Christian I’m not suppose to say that. In reality there is times I feel bitter, angry, hurt, and even jealous. I especially don’t feel good towards God at times. So why does this phrase bother me so much, you may wonder. Let me explain.

A few weeks back I mustered up the courage to get out into the church world again and socialize. This may not be a big step to most people, but after walking in grief; small times like this is a huge accomplishment. I still struggle with anxiety of crowds, others children at times, questions that maybe asked and throw me off guard, and even comments that I may not know how to handle. So I signed up to go to the church fundraiser brunch. The speaker quoted this quote, “God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.” As I sat there listing to everyone repeat the phrase, I realized I couldn’t say that. Instead I found myself questioning the goodness of God himself…

Pushing this back to the dark corners of my mind, I tried to deny my feelings about this phase. I tried to hide how I truly felt from God himself… Days passed and more overwhelming feeling built upon feelings I had pushed asides and tried to hide, just fueling my fire. I soon became so bitter I refused to let them go and questioned God and my faith even more. Finally one day I became so mad that I blurred out to God, “If your “sooo” good all the time and you know desires & needs of our hearts, why are you allowing me to suffer and hurt so badly? What’s good about that?” One would think that blowing off steam would make you feel better, but when your mad at God it just makes you even more mad when you don’t get an answer…

Then November hit… The beginning of a month of thankfulness and grateful quotes floating around on social media… This just fanned the flames even more. What do I possibly have to be thankful for? So like an angry teenager, I slammed my spiritual door on God and went to hide and cry. Hurt, angry, and confused I hid. I hid from my feelings. I hid from the wounds I cannot hide. I hid from my world that has crumbled and will never be the same. I hid from my family and friends. I hid, because although I wanted comfort, I didn’t want to be comforted… I just wanted to be mad for awhile.

So then it brings me to the now….

God is good, all the time. All the time? God is good? – Yes. Here’s how I know…

In my act of rage, God knew I was hurting. Instead of fighting with me, telling me how wrong I was- he let me be…. Instead of trying to put out my “flames”. He let my fire burn out. And when the time was right, he gently came in , slowly opened my spiritual door & asked , “Are you done yet?” .

You see it took a simple quote that sent me overboard for me to see clearly again. It also took a simple song to remind me that even if I’m a broken, shattered, or an angry mess- he still loves me & will put me back together again. We are just beautiful messes.

That is why God is good. Although we question him, he doesn’t leave. The Bible is also is written about people feeling things just like I am writing about if you stop and think about it. The Bible isn’t written about people who are happy all the time with no worries, or fears, or hurts. It’s written about people who have lost children, struggled in life, are angry, confused, hurting, are sick and dying. It’s written about people like me who let one simple phrase rock their world, but also how they allowed God to show them goodness in pain, light in the darkness, strength in weakness, and life in death.

So yeah, I was and can be a bitter Christian at times. I still ask God Why my son was chosen to die? I still question his mercy at times & if he is sending me to voicemail. I’m not a perfect Christian, but neither was Hannah, Sarah, Mary, Peter, or Paul. They all cried out to God in fear, pain, anger, anxiety, and other feelings I could write about all day. So why are we trying to hide them when we really are breaking inside? Why do we try to act “together” when we clearly are not? It’s time we take off our church masks and start talking about our real problems. Pain is real, but God is a “pain reliever” . Just like a Tylenol, you have to be willing to open the “bottle” and “take as needed for pain”… God is the same way… You have to be willing to open your “bible” & “take as needed for pain”. He’s not going to punish you for having feelings, but we are scared of God. We are scared to be bold in pray and talk to him about how we feel. We think we have to say cute prayers and feel good things to make God happy, but actually it’s the opposite. Sometimes all I can get out to say is – nothing. Sometimes all I can do is cry. But God would rather have tears & peaceful silence in his presence then fake emotions.

So if you too are questioning Gods goodness, your not alone… Trials in the life are hard. It’s been a year and 5 months since I lost my son, and everyday I am shocked about feelings I have. I grieve still and will always grieve because of the love I have for my son. God knows this. God, I believe, does not hate me for that- he just wants me to run to him instead of my spiritual bedroom and hid. I know deep in my heart that God has a plan for me. I just may not always agree on his timing or ways, but that’s ok. I’m learning patience, I suppose. And as long as God will lead me- I’ll be ok…

-Marli Wright-

(Angel Mom to Rhett Alec)