I took the day off yesterday. I wasn’t sick. My kids weren’t sick. I just needed a day. A day to catch up on life – real life – the kind you feel, not the kind you do.
I had a lovely breakfast at my favorite taco spot, but as I left I was at a loss. Five hours until I pick up kids from school. How do I spend it? How do I make this day valuable? My practical list of tasks begging for my attention is long – clean, sort, organize, purchase…
My body has been asking for rest. Should I read and nap all day? Maybe book a massage?
And writing! How I’ve longed to have a day to devote to writing!
None of these options seem like they will fulfill the purpose of this precious day. But the clock is ticking. So I begin to voice my frustration to God, “God, you know what this feeling is much more than I do. It’s this restlessness. It’s this not having enough. This not being enough. It’s this heaviness even when things are good. What I’m really asking is, how do I make this ache go away?”
And there it was. Truth hanging in the air. I am thirsty. Deeply thirsty. I want to lay down in the river of God’s presence and absorb that water into every cell of my being. To be saturated and satisfied.
What is it that makes me think I need to have a clean house and completed to-do list before I find my place in that river? I tend to see resting as a place I go when I’m done. A reward to be earned by completing life’s tasks. Like dessert if I finish my healthy meal. But the invitation has been made clear! “In him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) If that is true, then everything I do, everything I am, is meant to happen as I am in that river resting in Him.
I work with a friend who rarely feels physically thirsty, so she forgets to drink water. The problem is, her body still needs water even when she isn’t thinking about it. She feels the effects of dehydration; headaches, fatigue, etc., before she ever thinks to take a drink. So I try to remind her, especially on busy days, to drink up! Sometimes I take a bottle of water to her desk and tell her to drink it.
How often do we feel the effects of spiritual dehydration because we have forgotten our need to drink?
What a beautiful reminder that moment was for me. His rest, his river of life, is not my dessert, but my sustenance. The only place to quench that deep thirst. The only place to soothe that ache. I don’t earn that place by how I live, Grace invites me to rest in that river as I live. There is no other source of life.