“You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.” St. Augustine of Hippo
The day before surgery, the Lord told me to “rest and receive” during my time of recuperation. For some that might be a reason to celebrate. But for me, who has received my identity from performance and is a recovering doing addict, that mission can make me anxious. It’s been comfortable for me in the past to hide behind busyness as a way to medicate my emotional pain. Resting and being on the receiving end are not second nature for me and it’s something the Lord has been whittling away at for most of my life.
This time though, God has taught me how to love rest and receiving. I’ve come to enjoy this season of a slower pace and diminished capacity. I no longer believe the lie if it’s not productive, it’s a waste of time. I’m not saying I don’t like to accomplish things, rather my identity is no longer wrapped around achievement. I’ve discovered several benefits from the art of resting and receiving.
I liked being able to sleep in, to get as much rest and restoration as my body needs, instead of being short changed. I’ve enjoyed not rushing through my time with the Lord. It’s been restorative to park and let my mind and heart idle for a while over Scriptures to mine the gems from God’s Word. Using my surgery recovery free pass helped me not feel guilty when the house got messy. One gift I received became my new form of recreation. Listening to worship music while coloring a page in my “God’s Promises” adult coloring book refreshed me.
Since my love language is acts of service, this season of rest and receiving has made me feel treasured by my family and friends. I have felt loved as they’ve cleaned for me, transported me places when I couldn’t drive, and brought numerous delicious meals to my family. It’s been an added bonus to see friends I haven’t seen in a while.
Slowing down the pace has brought peace to my unhurried heart and the ability to hear God’s voice more clearly. I’m now able to sit still and do nothing, without any regret. For it’s in quietness that my soul is restored. “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).
All these benefits make me not want to return to how jam packed my life was prior to surgery. I want to take what I’ve experienced these past few weeks and incorporate them into my normal routine after I’m healed. I’m so grateful I serve a God who knows just what His daughter needs: to rest and receive.
“No soul can have rest until it finds created things are empty. When the soul gives up all for love, so that it can have Him that is all, then it finds true rest.” Julian of Norwich
Relevant Reflections: 1. Is it difficult for you to rest or to receive from others? If so, why? 2. What benefits have you experienced from resting or receiving?