It is something we all struggle with at some season of our life. Especially as women, moms and daughters. We hear people say, “Don’t Worry, let it go” many times throughout the day. How is it they can say this? Do they really mean it? I wonder if they have been able to get rid of that tight knot in their stomach. You know what I’m talking about. It makes you want to lay down and sleep forever or run and hide till it goes away. It’s a knot that feels like it will never go away. I’m willing to guess that if you don’t have it now, there has been a point in your life when you have. Probably more than once.
If you used to have it and don’t any longer, what is it that made it go away? I am one of those people who used to have multiple knots and worry as soon as I opened my eyes in the mornings. You know this kind of worry don’t you? How did I miss the alarm? Why didn’t I go to the grocery store last night on my way home? What will the children eat? How will I pay for that? What will I wear? How will I have time to dress myself, much less get the children dressed, fed and groomed? And what about all those doctor appointments you go to when the children are small? For the single again moms working outside the home, your head tells you one thing and your heart another, leaving you torn between responsibility at work and caring for your children. And then, there is your boss, “Will he fire me for missing work again?” It doesn’t sit well with your boss, but not being with your child doesn’t sit well with you. Worries! Worries! Worries!
Whew! Thinking about all that again makes me dizzy! It was real. It is real for you. It was hard. It is hard for you. I worried until I wound up in my doctor’s office laying on a paper covered gurney with a tangled mess of wires attached to my chest, arms and stomach. I believed I was having a heart attack. Really? A heart attack at thirty? What was I thinking? I was thinking I was having a heart attack. My doctor kindly assured me, “No, it isn’t a heart attack.” Of course I was certain it was and looking right back into his face I pleaded, “Well, if it isn’t a heart attack, what is it?” Without giving him time to answer, “I feel like a ton on bricks is sitting on my chest.” Trusting him I repeated my question, “So . . . what is it Dr. B?” In the past He seemed to always have the answers. Over the years, he delivered my youngest child, and stood beside me through serious surgeries while I was going through paralyzing life experiences. He looked at me with a heart of genuine concern, “Stress Allison. It’s only stress, you must to take some time to rest.”
Fast forward about twenty years of running hard, trying to please everyone, do everything right and worrying about everything to the point of nearly having a nervous breakdown, and I found rest. Doesn’t that seem crazy? In the time I was most worried, weakest and without hope, I found rest and learned not to worry.
I hope it doesn’t take you as long to learn. Maybe what I share here today can prevent you from running so hard, and you will start to rest today. What is true rest anyway? We think of it as laying down on the sofa or across the bed to steal a few minutes of sleep or let our minds vegetate. That is sometimes good, I agree. But I have learned there is a different kind of rest that cuts worry to the quick. It’s resting in the promises of God. And one of those promises that became SO real for me is Matthew 10:29. Jesus is talking about birds. He often uses his creation in teaching us truths. This one was life changing for me. Maybe it will be for you too. A bird is very small to mankind and Jesus says not one will fall without His knowledge. Since He knows when the birds fall, I believe He knows before we fall and when we do, He is there to catch us. It’s important for us to realize that Jesus created and loves the birds, but He loves us more. He loves us so much He watches over us ALL the time! As He knows when the sparrow falls, He knows what is ahead for us. He is always there inviting us to let Him carry our burdens, give us His strength and displace our worry.
In Matthew 6:34, Jesus shares with us we don’t have to worry! Did you hear that child? WE DON”T HAVE TO WORRY! He’s got it. Oh, how I wish I had known this truth many years ago. He says don’t think about tomorrow, just keep your eyes on each moment today. Today has enough of its own problems. Who knows, if you keep on looking at tomorrow you might miss something He has for you today. I’ve already missed more than I wanted to, so I am very thankful He taught me to keep my eyes on today, in this very moment. And you know what, not worrying about tomorrows troubles, which are likely never to come to pass anyway, has lifted such a heavy burden from me. I have learned to come to REST in the promise of being worry free by keeping my eyes focused on today knowing Jesus has gone before me to make a way. Putting your trust in the promises of God brings true rest. As a perk, as you rest you will find those around you begin to rest.
While chaos is swirling, believe the promises of God. Take Him at His word. Come unto me all you who are weak and heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). We are weak, we are weak without understanding we can lean into the strength of Christ. It is in this weakness and full dependency on His strength we find rest. He invites all to rest in Him. I am confident if you respond to His invitation, He will begin to lift your burdens and your worries will fade away. He invites us to listen to what He says, take Him at His Word and trust Him. I have found His promises are abundantly true and do bring contentment. Sister, I believe your new song will include the words in Bobby McFerrin’s, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!”
Has this helped you see how God holds you and the tiniest details of your circumstances of your life in the palm of His hand? I invite you to share how this has touched your heart in the comment section.
Scriptures close to my heart that point to this truth of rest in Him are below:
Psalm 91:1; Exodus 33:14; Matthew 11:29; Matthew 6:25; Philippians 4:6