Ugh. Tried to go to sleep early. My husband did too. But his idea of going to sleep involves a fan on high, an air conditioner and the TV set on LOUD.
And mine doesn’t. At all.
Kind of typical for opposites like us. Lots of areas to meet in the middle. Most nights I can tune things out until he turns off the TV, but tonight, I was just restless. Had some paperwork I should’ve finished before bed so I went downstairs and plodded away at it until it was done. It’s done, but I’m still restless.
And I set the timer on the coffee maker because morning will be here before I know it. Heck, it actually is. I mean, it’s 12:34 a.m. now. All is quiet except the drip-drip-dripping of that stupid kitchen faucet and the hum of the refrigerator, and the occasional wind-driven branch scraping the gutters on the back deck. It’s really windy out tonight.
Yes, all is quiet on the outside, but not in my heart. Nope. It’s pretty restless, and I wish I knew why. But if I’ve learned anything in life, it’s that you can’t always figure everything out. Even when it has to do with yourself. Maybe especially then. And trying to figure everything out can make you feel more crazy and restless than ya did at the beginning of the little venture of soul searching.
So, what’s a restless heart to do?
Well, one thing I can do is..Remember. Remember truths. Steep in them like tea in hot water.
There’s a quote by Augustine that says, “Thou has made me for thyself Oh, Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” That kind of rest is sweeter than any pillow. Knowing I am His…
Another verse comes to mind. It’s one of my favorites. “In quietness and trust is your strength.” Well, actually that’s the middle of the verse. Here’s the whole thing…”This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15. So, the quietness and trust (and strength) comes after a turning from (repentance) and a turning to (rest). Oh, and I don’t want to be one of those who “would have none of it”, so maybe a bit of self examination can temper this restless heart.
Owning the good, the bad and the ugly and laying it all down at the end of the day at the feet of Him who sees it all anyway can be a purge worth making. And then….then there might just be more room for His grace to fill in the gaps with truth. Truths that He redeems, restores, uses what we bring to His feet. Even when it’s the good, the bad, and the ugly. Because if I’m honest with myself, everyday seems to have plenty of each of those.
Today (well, actually yesterday, for remember it’s after 12 🙂 ), it was a full day of having to deflect a lot of negative. Lots of struggles all around at work and some at home, and I found myself having to have a teflon spirit. Gotta know when to let things slide off and when to let them in. By the end of the day, I sure didn’t feel so teflonnish and am thinking maybe that’s where some of the restlessness started.
So here’s a truth for that. “Cast your cares on the Lord for He cares for you. ” (1 Peter 5:7). How awesome is that? I grew up fishing with my Dad…and can remember the challenge of casting the line way out. The farther the cast, the greater the sense of accomplishment. And I can remember throwing baseballs with my boys and how the longer the throw, the more proud they’d seem to feel. Same with footballs. Josh used to kick the football up so high that we had two huge oak trees that it would go between which looked like NFL goal posts. I always marveled at how high he could kick that football.
And I think ‘casting our cares on the Lord’ is kind of like that. It’s a throwing it far, far away with all of my determination and might. It’s using energy to get rid of it, and then resting in the knowledge that He cares for me. He can handle anything I throw at Him, and again, He has a way of redeeming and restoring things that we can’t imagine being used for the good. He’s a God of making all things new. I love that. Gonna ‘steep’ in that.
Well, I’m going to go read a bit then call it a night…(or morning, ha!) But if any of you all out there find yourselves a bit restless, just remember you’re not alone. Not just in the restlessness for yours truly is obviously there right now. But you’re not alone period. I’m not either. And something about that is comforting beyond words. It reaches deep and encourages hearts that need encouraging…(and I think we all have times that we qualify on that one!) I did a study called “Uninvited” by Lisa Terkeurst. She said, “God’s love isn’t based on me. It’s simply placed on me. And it’s the place from which I should live . . . loved.” She talks about ‘living loved’ and how it changes everything…to know you’re loved.
And it does. When we remember it. And sometimes restlessness can remind us to remember. It can remind us to think on what we know and pray through those things. It can help us rid ourselves of the things that weigh us down. It can remind us to focus on what is rather than what isn’t. “Living Loved” is a reality that sometimes takes effort… and sometimes the greatest goal needs to be quieted by His love. That’s another great truth. Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
One more thing. I can remember many a restless night with little ones. Whether it was ear infections or fears or just, well, restlessness, there were many nights when crying babies were quieted. By what? By the presence of one who loves them. By comfort of knowing they are not alone. By an effort of moving toward them to meet their need. Am thinking God is the best parent of all…a good, good Father, as the song says. My restless heart can find its rest in Him.
So, this restless child is going to think on that, and trust that the world will keep spinning as I sleep. He’s got things in control, and I can trust Him. Am thinking this restless heart can rest in knowing that. In fact, I know it can.