You Can Rest Now

by | May 16, 2023 | 4 Hunger & Thirst

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled (Matthew 5:6).

For many of us, worry seems to never end. Ever before our gaze extends a list of problems. We prioritize, take action, and one-by-one we check them off, albeit too slowly for our satisfaction. All too often for each problem resolved, two arise, so the list lengthens.

We blame the list, the circumstances that give rise to those problems. But in fact, our anxiety is a perpetual problem-seeking engine. No matter what we fix or gain or cleanse, our anxiety will create something to worry about.

In such a worrisome world, what is righteousness? Ah, a list of tasks in your left hand all checked. A rocking chair on the deck of a fine, paid-for home where you, the righteous one finally at rest, gaze past the completed list to a marvelous view. A river meandering in the foreground and the lush green of every kind of lovely tree climbing the mountains in the background, the peaks of which touch the wispy purple and orange sky about the rising sun. From your right hand, the fragrance of perfect coffee rises from your favorite mug.

You can rest now.

But it won’t happen.

You won’t let it.

But if you revise that scene, it can happen. Imagine that you take that list and an eraser. Remove every check. Sit in the chair you have with the view you’ve got. Feel what you feel, whether pleasant or not. Breathe. Thank God for the breath, for the view, for the feel of the chair and the air, for another day.

Look over the list, and item-by-item, pray for an open mind to learn whatever God may wish to teach through every problem. Commit yourself to bring what love you can into every task, decision, and encounter that list foretells and every interruption that arises. Pray for patience with every circumstance and every person that interrupts or slows you down. Especially pray for patience with yourself.

Know that you are loved.  Neither past crimes, however terrible, nor future errors, however grievous, change God’s steadfast love for you. Neither completion of tasks nor addition of new ones change that either.

Now you have a feel for righteousness. So enjoy. You can rest now.

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  1. Cinda McGuinn

    An insight I’ve had is that sometimes we worry about someone we love because we feel that if we don’t worry about them it means that we don’t care or love them enough. This is even though our worrying does them no good whatsoever and only makes us feel miserable and helpless. If there is truly nothing constructive we can do to help then we can turn our worries over to God who, after all, loves them infinitely more than we can imagine.

    • J. Marshall Jenkins

      Wise words, Cinda. One of the hardest things I ever did in my life was turn the care of someone I loved over to God when care bore no fruit. Even when our care seems to bear much fruit, we are only carrying forward God’s care. It’s good to be humble enough to let go.


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