Restless Until We Rest in Jesus

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Do you ever feel restless in your soul? Restless for rest in Jesus? Like you know it’s Jesus you need but still you keep trying so many ways to fill up the lack you feel with so many different things? Nothing helps, and you know who can help, but you’re afraid to trust… He will reject me, too, just like people do. He doesn’t have time for someone like me. I’m too unclean. Will He really care and love me just as I am?

I’ve been thinking a lot this past week of a certain woman (Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48). We’re not told her name. We just know she was broken and very sick. She had already hemorrhaged blood for twelve long years! She spent all the money she had on physicians, but not one could help her. She just became sicker, weaker, more hopeless.

Isn’t that so like us? We will try everything else first for healing in our souls, but we don’t dare to trust our souls to Jesus. Like this woman, we come to the end of ourselves, desolate, and desperate.

Then she heard Jesus came back to Galilee. He is here! Her only hope left! The restlessness in her soul would not let her be still. She had to get to Jesus, her only Rest, her only Hope, her only Healer.

Other people who wanted to see Jesus perform more miracles pushed and shoved to get near to Him. But this woman didn’t seek Him to see more miracles. She desperately needed a miracle for herself. She was despised, rejected, cast out as unclean, and she needed a Savior.

I can imagine her emaciated body stumbling weakly along, perhaps even crawling, pushing herself beyond her strength, pressing on and squeezing herself between so many people as she thought to herself, “If I can just touch even the hem of His garment, I will be healed.”

There! As her desperate emptiness touched the edge of His cloak, she immediately felt the blood stop flowing. She felt renewed, restored, whole. What a sigh of relief as she gave all her soul to Jesus, resting in Him and His love. She became whole not only physically, but her emotional brokenness healed, and spiritually her sins were washed away by the cleansing blood of Jesus.

“Who touched me?” Jesus asked gently. He gazed around, searching the hearts of those nearby. No one admitted it.

His disciples said, “But Jesus, how can You ask that? Just look at this crowd pressing around You.”

But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from Me.”

Jesus continued looking at the people around Him. But why did Jesus ask when He knows all things? He knew exactly who it was, but He wanted her to come forward. To freely pour out all her brokenness with no shame. To confess her absolute need of His healing. To glorify Him with her praise of His unexpected, unconditional, miraculous healing of her body and soul.

Oh, what now? She knew she could no longer go unnoticed. She knew she could no longer keep silent. She knew she must fall down at His feet with her heart wide open, holding nothing back. As she trembled at His feet, she told Him the whole truth.

“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over,” Jesus gently replied. And the soothing balm of His love and grace refreshed her.

All this was happening in front of the crowd. People who cast her aside as not worthy of their notice, their attention, their love. But Jesus unashamedly included her and pulled her into belonging. He healed all her brokenness. He even marked her as His precious daughter, and He loved her with all His heart.

Do you feel broken? In your body, your emotions, your mind, your spirit, your very soul? Jesus cares for restless, broken, burdened souls. He can and will heal. He is always ready and willing and has already paid the price.

Jesus Whispers:

Come, My dear child,
Touch My garment.

Let your brokenness be turned to beauty,
Your emptiness filled with My fullness,
Your captivity be released to freedom.

Come, My precious child,
Rest your restless soul in Me.

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“I Need You, Jesus, to Come to My Rescue”
by Hillsong

Praying our restless hearts will find rest in Jesus!
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21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Journey of Rest: It’s Time to Stop Running

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“Rest became a battle to run away from the things that break me
– instead of allowing the brokenness to bring me to Him.”
– Bonnie Gray

That’s me. Running away. Fighting against the remembering. Spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere but empty and exhausted. But I don’t want to live like this anymore. This numbness, this shutting off my feelings because it hurts too much. This putting on a strong front and saying, “I’m fine.” This letting the words and actions of others give me my identity. This robotic living controlled by what was or is expected of me.

As I write this, steady rain is falling straight down in a peaceful rhythm, replenishing, refreshing, brightening the dependent earth. As I sit and watch, I listen and let the sounds soothe my soul. I breathe in the freshly laundered air, begging God to fill me with the rain of His Holy Spirit. To breathe life into my soul. To break the shackles from my soul and set me free.

Please, Dear God,
May Your Holy Spirit flood my soul,
Wash away all my self-sufficiency,
All the lies about who I am,
Whatever keeps me from resting in You.

I don’t want to be strong anymore,
I want to relinquish all control,
The control I let people hold over me,
The control of wanting my own way,
Not trusting Your plan for my life.

I don’t want to run away anymore,
I want to embrace the vulnerability,
To find the real child in me
You created me to be,
To lean into You trusting and unafraid.

I want to open the doors of my heart,
To journey with You,
To layer by layer
Expose to Your healing rain
Those deep places of pain.

Please break away
These embedded shackles
That trap me –
This shame that poisons my perspective,
This fear that freezes my faith,
This unfounded guilt that eats me alive.

I want to be free, Lord,
To feel, to want, to need,
To allow myself to be loved,
To love myself as You desire,
To nurture my depleted soul,
To open my heart to the power of Your love.

justrestAre these the longings of your soul, too? Do you need rest? Then come on a journey with us to find it. Bonnie Gray’s new book – Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest – has come out this week and is packed with so many insights that I have to read it slowly, trying to process one revelation at a time. It is already changing my life. It has shaken up beliefs that have been instilled into me. This idea of doing God more service if I forget about me and concentrate on encouraging and nurturing others. This doing and not just being. I always feel selfish when I take time to nurture myself, not realizing God wants me to take care of myself – to nurture myself in His bottomless fountain of love and security. I’m beginning to understand why it’s not selfish, because it is only through accepting and nurturing myself as the precious beloved of Jesus who wants me to bare my entire vulnerability to Him for healing that I will be able to nurture others with reckless abandon with the same love Jesus gives.

True rest is not running away from all our vulnerability, brokenness, and hurting emotions. It is leaning into Jesus, allowing Him to love us fully and freely. To go to Him just as we are, not trying to be strong, but raw with all our pain, shame, and fear, not trying to minimize any of it. Baring our hearts to Him, letting Him cut away the cancer in our souls, and wash and restore us with His healing balm of grace and love. 

“But there comes a time
when it takes more faith
to fall apart with Jesus
than to stay strong enough
to stop it from happening.”
– Bonnie Gray

“Whitespace. It’s the space on a page left unmarked used to make art beautiful. It gives the eye a place to rest, to bring out all the beautiful colors and images. You and I are God’s artwork. We need space to rest, so we can live a beautiful story.

I’ve written this memoir-driven guidebook — with chapter by chapter journaling prompts and group discussions questions so you can:

~ move beyond surviving to find rejuvenating rest

~ uncover the you God made: explore what feeds your soul

~ discover practical ideas to create space in your heart and schedule to rest

~ understand how your personal story shapes how easy or hard it is to receive self-care and soul care.

~ be inspired with hope, peace and encouragement”

– Bonnie Gray

 

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Joining Up With


A Soft Gentle Voice

God Sees Us as Worthy Enough to Die For

 

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As she led Bible studies at her church, the mask of a strong Christian woman hid her pain. She felt compassionate towards women who seemed lonely. She could see the injustice happening in their lives, but not in her own, because she reasoned she deserved it.

When Mandy finally decided to share the abuse she was suffering from her “Christian” husband – the constant fear, verbal abuse, degradation, humiliation, rapes of her body and soul – to some trusted church leaders, she was told, “Keep trusting the Lord, and He will make things right,” or “Why don’t you just forgive him?”

Fueled by these insensitive remarks, Mandy assumed she must be an awful person, not even a good Christian. After all, Christians are supposed to be forgiving and happy with their lot, aren’t they? So she continued on for more years of daily chaos, becoming adept at stuffing down her feelings and disassociating from reality. Becoming accustomed to living as one who didn’t deserve any respect or rights.

By the grace of God, a concerned relative encouraged her to see a Christian counselor she knew. Finally someone believed her. She went to therapy for years and during the course of it, she went through divorce and depression. She eventually realized God does not want His child to be treated the way she was. It was a way of deep, raw pain for Mandy, but the power of God’s healing grace nourished a beautiful rose in the ashes of her wounds.

One statement the counselor made that shocked her and took time to sink in was “God sees us as worthy enough to die for us.”

How can our finite minds actually absorb such a mystery? He counts us valuable enough, important enough to DIE for us? Not only to die, but to suffer soul deep, bone chilling anguish so we can be healed? To go through hell so we can be saved from the hell our sins deserve? So we can be healed from going through hellish experiences on earth? Just WOW!

“Just as there were many who were appalled at Him —
His appearance was so disfigured
beyond that of any human being
and His form marred beyond human likeness—”
(Isaiah 52:14)
Jesus Christ, is that Him?
His face so disfigured from abuse,
Beyond human likeness?
Yes, there He goes,
Willingly suffering,
Buffeted, smitten,
Crowned with thorns,
Opening His face
To shame and spitting.
His modesty ravaged,
His freedom forfeited,
No man has before or since
Ever been so abominably abused.
A Man of sorrows,
His face foul with weeping
For the sins of mankind,
The weight of those sins
Too heavy for man to bear,
His body exploding
With piercing wounds.
His soul suffering
Excruciating torment,
Darkness with bottomless depths
Never experienced by mankind,
Desertion devastating His soul,
Abandoned by God and man.
After torture too horrible
To adequately portray,
Too abominable to fathom,
He cried with a loud voice,
“Father into Your Hands
I commit My spirit.”
As He willingly gave up
His final breath
For you, for me.
What wondrous love is this?
To take the load of our sins,
To suffer the punishment in our place.
So we may be clean and free.
So we may heal completely
From our own sins,
But also from wounds and
Devastation inflicted by others.
What wondrous love is this?
Amazing love freely given!
Grace with the power to heal!

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Following Faith Barista’s Writing Prompt:
Wounded

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