I’m on vacation right now. I’m getting the “rest” that I recently wrote about. My “little” family of six is hunkering down in a lake house and breathing in God’s goodness, breaking from the demands of reality to remind ourselves of His faithfulness.
My kids didn’t get the “rest” memo. Their M.O. is exactly the same as it was at home: Begging to fill their bodies with junk food, sibling squabbles, and getting out of bed at least one hundred times, a piece.
Last night Kyle and I had planned to sit in the dimly lit, and perfectly still living room. We wanted to sing together, just the two of us. I’m sure if you know our family, you already think that we sit around VonTrapp style all the time and sing nightly, but we don’t. I wish we did, but we don’t.
We didn’t get to last night either. Our quiet and private worship experience was thwarted by four children all protesting sleep in different ways. I can’t speak for Kyle, but I was angry. I wanted my private time with my husband and the Lord and I wasn’t getting what I wanted. I was enraged.
Let me clarify what good christian rage looks like: I wasn’t beating my kids, I wasn’t screaming at them or hurling insults, I wasn’t slamming doors and breaking things in their room. I was just seething on the inside. My heart was arguing and complaining to God about my disobedient children. My mouth was “blessing” them with forceful commands and irritatingly “calming” their fears, instead of offering gracious patience.
This type of rage looks very frightening to a child. It’s confusing. “Why is mommy saying kind words, with a kind voice, but I don’t feel comforted?” they wonder.
My heart is far from rest. It’s too busy dwelling on what I don’t have. I don’t have peace, I don’t have quiet, I don’t have rest, I don’t have my way. “Why is God not on board with my pre-planned holy time???”
Because it wasn’t His plan for tonight. His grace is always sufficient. His strength is always enough. He is faithful, even when I’m not.
At one point last night, in the middle of the Battle-of-the-Bed, I looked at Kyle and said, “I’m done.” I meant, I was done and he needed to step in. We were tag-teaming.
Then the Lord popped my sinful eyes open and breathed his spirit in to me: “You’re right. YOU ARE Done. I am not. Let’s go, in my strength.”
Kyle and I regrouped in the Spirit, grabbed the guitar, and sat on the cold tile floor and sang together, to the kids. We were trying to put them to sleep with our singing. It worked for two of them, but not for all of them. It wasn’t what everyone needed, but it was what some needed.
Kids needed sleep. I needed rest. Both were accomplished by dropping my guard, dropping my wants, dropping my sin, and worshipping the Lord in the middle of the battle. The Lord met me right there, in my anger.
This morning, the kids are up, but I’m not feeling bitter about their early waking. I’m feeling thankful for the sweet time I had this morning with the Lord on the breezy porch. I’m thankful for the smiles and hugs I’ll get before breakfast when I go back inside. Right now, I’m at peace because I’m alone with God.
The rest is with God, not in the aloneness. After the smiles and hugs, there will be tears and screaming at some point in the day. There will be fights over milk cups and grumpiness over mismatched desires.
Lord, let me cling to your rest instead of the day’s.
Are you feeling lost in the desire for rest? How can I pray for you today? Let me know if you’re in the struggle too. Comment below or shoot me an email. I’d love to pray for you as I pray for my own battle.