When I initially wanted to write a book about doing busy better, I thought it might be filled with productivity tips. After all, I’ve been studying and writing on productivity topics for a few years.
I didn’t expect God would redirect my writing and show me the real solution to my over-busy life. Time management books only put a bandaid on the problem, because like a pendulum that eventually settles in the middle, my middle was always chaotic.
The words of Jesus took me on a journey to discover the root of it all. My soul was not at rest. It was striving.
In Mattew 11:28-30, Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus didn’t offer us a vacation. His promise was even for more than a Sabbath rest. Jesus offered soul rest. As I mentioned in my devotion today: “Soul rest is deeper than any other kind of rest I’ve experienced. It’s not circumstantial, nor does it need to be renewed. Rather, soul rest has its roots in something unshakable.”
Our souls long for security, to be grounded in that which will not move. When we aren’t grounded, we subconsciously know our foundation is insecure and changing, which causes us to worry and work harder in a vicious cycle. But what a difference it makes when we secure the truth about something we believe to the immovable truth of God. That truth can’t be shaken by circumstances because God can’t be shaken.
I’ve identified three areas of security in my life that have helped me find true soul rest: my safety, my future, and my identity.
We rest when we trust we are safe in the hands of God
I didn’t experience significant fear until I became a mother. Having the care of another human being in my hands was a heavy responsibility. I became fearful not only for my self, but for my children. I was fearful because I had placed my trust in something I couldn’t depend on to keep us all safe. The Lord challenged me over the years to identify everything I trusted rather than Him. And one by one, as I identified those places, I reassigned my trust to God.
We rest knowing our future is secure in the hands of God.
Worry about the future can steal the joy from today. I know as I’ve been a near-professional worrier at times. The Lord leads me to soul rest when I fully trust that no matter what happens, God will not abandon me. When bad things happen, and they might, this does not mean God made a mistake with our future. He’s never wringing His hands in worry and thinking, “Oh no, now what will I do?” He will always come through for us.
We rest knowing our identity is secure in Christ
I’d been a Christian for over 20 years before I learned my identity was not in my accomplishments, but in my position as a loved child of God, the perfect Father. If success is my identity measure, then I will relentlessly pursue more success. My heart hungers for significance. I long to know I have worth, that I’m not a mistake or a waste of time.
We’ll never find significance in worldly things, because we weren’t created for this world. We were created to be loved by God and to live with Him forever.
I’m not against producitivity tips. I’ve put a lot in my book, Doing Busy Better. But when it comes down to it, until we address the striving of our hearts, and uncover our areas of doubt, we’ll find ourselves back in the same place again.
My prayer for you is that God would show you how to find His soul rest. It’s His free gift to us.
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In Doing Busy Better, Glynnis Whitwer helps you examine your heart and your schedule in order to seek a healthy, holy, and enjoyable balance between work and rest. She shows you how to prioritize your goals and your time, how to be present in the moment as Jesus was, and how to find the freedom of true soul rest. Most importantly, she shows you that your worth is found not in your accomplishments but in the love of the One who made you for work and for rest.
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