A Quiet Strength | Reflections on Rest and Anxious Toil
Sweet friend, there is beauty in patience. A quiet strength in waiting.
I talked quite a bit this past winter about my burnout and struggles with social media. After Christmas I completely crashed. I don't even remember that last week of 2018 or the first few weeks in January because I was completely dead inside. The truth is, I was still struggling with this up until a few weeks ago.
I was burnt out and it took me over 5 months to recover from it.
Now maybe I've made these past few months a little more dramatic than they needed to be because that's what I do best. But through it all I've really learned a few things about rest, about waiting, about trusting His timing. After all, it's not so much about the answers or the outcomes, but the lessons that you learn in the waiting for them.
Here's the thing about rest— it's never as fruitful or nourishing if you wait until you need it. Because then it becomes recovery. And recovery takes a lot more time and a lot more grueling work than rest does. I've learned that now. And I'm seeing how true soul rest needs to be incorporated into our everyday life, not just our weekends or our Sundays or our once-a-year beach vacation. Soul rest needs to be in our everyday.
When we take time for true rest and soul nourishment, we are able to serve from full hearts instead of empty cups. We are able to do kingdom work, not busy work. We have to trust that the time we take for rest—time that the world tells us we do not have or should be using on more "productive things"—will be made fruitful by the Lord. The world says to us "no, don't stop. If you don't keep going what are you worth?" but Jesus tells us "dear child, slow down. Come to me and rest, for in me you will find your worth." This rich fruitfulness leads to true productivity. Only through a healthy balance of rest (not recovery), work, and play, will we be able to fully step into our calling and purpose.
I don't know about you but when I don't take time to rest and return to the Lord daily, I find myself losing sight of my calling, my true purpose, and I begin to work from an anxious heart. I begin measuring my worth by productivity or monetary value instead of by impact and purpose.
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
You looked for much and it came to little, and when you brought it home I blew it away. Why? Because of my house that lies in ruins while each of you busies himself with his own house.
Oh how many times I have busied myself with my own house when the Lord's house is the reason I am here. Building His kingdom and His name is the reason for all of this. The reason I even have the courage to continue. Oh how many times I have done busy work to feel important when what I really needed was soul rest to do kingdom work.
Consider how the wildflowers grow. They do not toil or spin...do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things...Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
After a long wait, I finally feel like my spring has come. It was a little late but now only greater the harvest will be. Like a seedling emerging from the soft soil, there's only growth from here. While I still have a ways until I bloom, I will continue to look to how the wildflowers grow. For they do not toil, they do not grow weary. I will wait in quiet strength. I will grow with patience.
I pray that you are able to step into the light of this new season and find quiet strength in patience too, whatever you may be going through. Know that the courage to carry on can be found in slowing down, in rest. We are free to step away from the world and rest in His presence, for that will always be made fruitful.
There is beauty in patience. A quiet strength in waiting.
FURTHER READING AND RESOURCES ABOUT REST
This post contains affiliate links which means I make a small commission when you sign up or make a purchase through my link. I only ever share companies and brands that I truly stand behind, use myself, and absolutely love. This creates no additional cost to you, but simply provides a way for me to continue creating quality content like this. Thank you for your support!