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Are You a Restless Christian?
Are You a Restless Christian?
Restless. Restless. Restless.
I am restless. There I said it. Restless. Restless. Restless. I have been restless for as long as I can remember, most notably in the near decade I have been trying to live my life for God. Restless. Restless. Restless.
We all know what it means to be restless. It’s to be discontented, uncomfortable, burdened, or somehow unfulfilled. It’s how I describe our youngest dog when she refuses to relax with the rest of the family each evening and wanders around the house aimlessly. I can recall the countless times I tried in vain to convince her to come and watch TV with us, saying, "Lucy you’re not missing out on anything" or "there is no mystery to solve here". I can never bring myself to get too upset at her though, because I often find myself relating to her in a deep and powerful way. Restless. Restless. Restless.
Why? What is it that I think I am missing out on? Or what mystery have I taken upon myself to solve? In Matthew 11 Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest". So if Jesus says he will give you rest when you come to him, isn’t it pretty much un-Christian to be restless? Paul talks about a Peace that surpasses all understanding as well, so doesn’t it stand to reason that if I am restless it is because I am not close enough to God? What if the cure for restlessness is to simply seek more and more after God? The problem is the closer I get to Him, the more I become restless. Restless. Restless.
What’s going on? What am I doing wrong here? Where is this rest I’ve been promised? Where is all the peace? That’s when it hit me. In Matthew, Jesus promised rest to the weary, or, those who have had less than the rest they need. You know where I’m going with this. All you need to do is move the word "less", and you get........ Come on. Say it. Restless. Jesus promised rest for the restless! Not only is being restless not bad, those who are restless are specifically the ones to whom Jesus offered rest. It was for the restless. Restless. Restless.
You see, there is so very little about a relationship with God that is one and done. Most everything is a continual process. Look at the Manna in the desert. They had to trust God would provide. When they tried to gather extra to save, it spoiled. They were in desperate reliance on God everyday, and that’s right where they needed to be. In fact, that’s right where we each need to be. It would appear that the point of Jesus giving us rest in this life is not to make sure we will never be restless again. Just like the point of the Manna in the desert was not so the Israelites would never be hungry again. In fact, the more we trust that God will give us rest, the more we can allow ourselves to become restless. Restless. Restless.
It may be true that there is no mystery for me to solve, but I am missing out on something. Heaven. I was not created for this to be my home. This place should never be comfortable for me. Living with a sinful nature in a fallen world should burden me. It should keep me up at night. It should make me restless. Restless. Restless.
My hope is this. There will be a day where I will find a rest that will not waver and will never end. I will most likely forget what restlessness even feels like as I worship my Creator for all eternity, but that is not something I will experience on this earth. However, God is His unending Grace will give me rest in this life, for the specific purpose of allowing me to rely fully on Him as this fallen world and my own sin continue to make me restless. Restless. Restless.