I don’t know about you, but my life has been busy lately. Christmas parties, family get-togethers, shopping, working, cooking, Christmas cards, decorating…
It’s what I do. I try. I work. I strive.
It’s hard for me to rest. My heart is often anxious and filled with thoughts of what others think about me, and am I doing what I need to be doing, and am I doing the best I can, and what do I need to do better…
My soul pines for relief. It longs to be known and loved. And I feel like it is, by friends, by family, and by God, but I long for more. I want to get up and live a life where I can say that no matter what happens, I am enough because Christ is in me.
I want to rest in that.
We sang “Come thou long expected Jesus ” in church today, and I mulled over the words for a while after.
So much anguish, so much hurt, the world cries out for Jesus, for love, for rest, for healing. I long for those things.
Come thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free.
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in Thee
He came to rescue. He came for us. We were lost. We were stuck. We were trapped. We were dying. And He came for us. Because He treasures us, He is our Rescuer, our Healer, our Deliverer.
I love when the song says “From our fears and sins release us, Let us find our rest in Thee”. That is so often my prayer. Release me, Lord, from this anxiety. Release me from my fear that I am a failure. Release me from the list of “Shoulds and Shouldn’ts”. Release me from striving to be the best.
I don’t know about you, but the holidays are a restless time of striving. Are my Christmas cards cute enough, did I instagram enough Christmas lights, oh crap I forgot my advent calender, did I get the perfect gift, did I make the exact perfect dish for my holiday party and does it look like the picture on Pinterest…am I good enough, am I worthy, do you approve…
He approves. God approves and loves and brings peace.
We waited for a Savior, and He came in the form of a little baby. And He grew and taught us how to love with a ferocity the world had never seen before. And then He died, and rose again, and saved us in the process.
That is how I know He approves of me. That is how I know I can trust Him to release me from my fears and striving, because He already has.
And God did not save us so that we spend the rest of our lives earning what has already been given to us. So we rest in this. We don’t have to strive and work for man’s approval. It doesn’t matter. The creator of the universe says we are a priceless treasure. He says we are His beloved. I approve of those whom I call my beloved, and I know God does too.
You are free to rest when you feel fully approved of and loved, and when we can realize that God fully approves of us and loves us, our souls can rest, regardless of circumstance.
So, in the middle of the hustle and bustle and craziness of Christmas, I want my heart to remember what I am celebrating. I am celebrating freedom. I am celebrating grace. I am celebrating salvation.
I am celebrating rest.
I do not have to worry. I do not have to strive. Neither do you.
Come thou long expected Jesus, let us find our rest in thee…
Sounds good, doesn’t it?