I wipe yet another tear and adjust the wet corner of my pillow away from my face. In bed, nauseous and depressed, I’m unable to read, watch, eat, or distract myself at all. I wonder: Why oh why is it so hard to be made still?
I feel unproductive and useless. Voicing my frustration, my husband lovingly rebukes me. “You are not useless because your body needs to rest.”
And then I stumble across this, written by Elisabeth Elliot to her Jim, speaking of the anguish of being apart and in love.
“I find that I welcome any activity … not for the thing itself but merely for an impatient, undisciplined desire to kill time. This bespeaks a soul not wholly at rest in the Lord. … but gently, quietly, the Lord leads be beside clear waters, MAKES me to lie down.”
I wonder, am I truly resting while my body hits ‘pause’ or am I fighting the real rest my soul needs?
Not every illness is meant to slow us down to hear the still small voice of God, but this time, when nothing could distract me, God whispered His love by repeating His claim on me. “You are Mine. I love you because I chose to. In this bed you do not have to do a thing. Simply let Me be with you.”
I’ve spent decades trying to earn acceptance from God. That is, until my body broke and my ability to ‘earn’ anything was, for all practical purposes, taken away. In the quiet isolation of my bedroom, God nurtured my heart—”I do not love you because of what you do. Neither do I not love you because of what you do not do. I love you because it delights Me to do so.”
In the moments after my husband’s wise rebuke, my heart heard God’s whisper and believed Him. I let go of a piece of my identity, the piece that was self-sufficient, and accepted an identity chosen by God: His child.
When we put away the frenzy and angst of earning a love that has already been given, we find true rest. Resting in His unconditional love, a love that feels too good to be real, is the rest we need most.
Let us not be quick to distract ourselves from the Whisperer. When He takes us through seasons of stillness, let us open our ears and our hearts to His claim on us, to His love.