Why is it so hard for me to rest in God?
Is It Hard For You to Be Quieted By His Love?
One morning as I was praying outside, I heard a rustling noise. A mother dove and her chick appeared, walking through the grass. As I watched, I was transfixed by the spiritual lesson unfolding before me as the baby bird sought to hide under his mother’s wing. He wanted to be as close to her as possible and was only content when her feathers were fluffed over him.
Are you close enough to the Heavenly Father where He can quiet you with His love?
I’d like to share a conversation I had about resting, prompted by my encounter with these sweet birds. If you’d prefer, there is also a recording at the bottom you can listen to.
“Why is it so hard for me to rest in God?”
We have a false concept of resting. We think it’s something magical, something that just happens naturally. We think it means shutting down from the rest of life, almost like you’re switching off. But, that’s not what resting is about.
“What is resting about?”
Resting is about being quiet in our inner self. In the midst of turmoil, in the midst of confusion, in the midst of struggle, pain, and heartbreak. Whatever we are going through, it’s about an inner quietness because we are aware we are not alone, we are loved, we have value, and we are safe. But safety doesn’t mean nothing bad happens to us.
“What does it mean?”
Safety is about the preservation of my dignity, of my personhood, of my identity. Identity is found wherever I rest. If I’m resting in my imagination, then my identity is going to be founded on something very insecure and insubstantial. A vapor that can easily be assaulted.
I can feel good in that place in my imagination and I can feel safe. But when I’m resting in the Rock, no matter what assaults me, there’s a difference, because I’m seen by my heavenly Father. He’s watching over me, guarding my back. He is my protection and covering. He hides me.
I like to think we need to learn to hide in the light. You see, we hide in the darkness. That’s natural. We love to hide in the dark because then we aren’t seen. We think that when we aren’t seen we are safe.
But in the spirit world, there is nowhere you can go to be unseen. Unless, you hide in the light. When I hide in the light, I’m unseen by the spirit world that wants to destroy me. I’m safe. They are aware of me, but they can’t get to me because they would first have to confront the light.
Jesus is the Light; He stands between me and the darkness. But when I hide in the darkness, I’m in danger. I have no firm foundation, the enemy knows exactly where I am for it covering me with the darkness, and can devour me whenever it wants.
Part of resting is to learn to come into the light and just be. Not doing anything. Just being.
In the light I’m seen, I’m loved, I’m valuable; I rest in the truth that my identity is hidden with Christ in God. My identity, my dignity, my personhood, my foundation is secure. No matter what happens. Even if everything around me is obliterated, I am safe and secure.
“Can you give me a tangible example of how I can hide in the light?”
We have to learn to be intentional by learning to focus on the Lord Jesus. He has to be where our eyes are. Our eyes have to be fixed on Him. Our attention has to be upon Him.
When an angry boss assaults us verbally, or an unkind husband, or vicious words from a sibling, or a neighbor, or coworker… We have to immediately, not look at the situation, but look at the Lord and begin to dialogue with Him. Our first dialogue is not with the person or the fear we experience. The first dialogue is with the Lord, and it may be as simple as “Help. Please hide me. Please help me.”
And then like the picture of the bird going to its mother and constantly trying to get under her wing whenever there was something different nearby, something that threatened him, or even when he wasn’t threatened, he wanted to get to her side. Once there, he wanted to be as close as possible.
He always knew where she was. So even if he got a little bit of courage to start pecking in the soil, he knew exactly where his mother was. She was his focus.
In life we get so focused on the immediate situation we are involved in, we don’t even think of the Lord, think of praying, or resting. We are in survival mode. And life is more than just survival. Real life is resting.
That means I readjust my gaze onto the Lord and my heart immediately turns to Him. I come in tune with Him because I want to know what He thinks about the situation I’m in. When I do, He tells me, He gives me courage, and He quiets my heart with His love.
But resting is intentional, where I’m constantly moment by moment learning to bring my gaze back on him, knowing that everything isn’t going to be magically fixed. The danger isn’t going to magically disappear, but He will be with me through whatever I am facing; His light will be a lamp unto my feet, a light to my path.
Let us learn to be like the chick who is quieted by nestling under his mother’s feathers.