I know it has been a couple months since I have written on here and I am assuming this post will reflect why that has been the case. Simply put, I feel like I have had a restless heart. I didn’t even know what I could write about because my mind has been clouded with school stresses and the worries of this world that are so temporary. It wasn’t until last night that I realized how much I have been neglecting true rest in Christ. God was gracious to paint a beautiful Texas sky right as I finished a really hard test. I was so frustrated and focused on how hard this test was until I drove off and saw the sky, which somehow directed my thoughts to eternal values. The truth is that until we rest in the only eternal one, which is Christ, we will keep running aimlessly for other things to fill us or we will distract ourselves with that which cannot satisfy. God knew what he was saying when he said “Be still and know that I am God.”
This has by far been the hardest semester in school for me yet, although I don’t feel I am spending more hours of the day doing school work, but rather allowing fear of failure (or rather a “B”, let’s get real) consume my mind. So really, I spend more time thinking about needing to study than actually studying, which is a physical representation of an anxiety-driven heart. If it’s not school, lately it’s been the fear of what people will think if I happen to need to have a hard conversation with them. My mind and heart have been so restless because I have been allowing my own wisdom and thoughts dictate how I feel rather than relying and trusting in God’s promises in His Word. I understand that as Christians, we have seasons that seem more difficult to remain close to God, and this might just be one of them. I begin to notice that I’m restless and feel purposelessness when the last thing I want to do is get into God’s Word and want to just rely on myself.
If there’s one thing I have learned recently, it is that Christians are free to be real and confess that we don’t always desire God. But just because I don’t feel like reading the Bible, it doesn’t give me an excuse to neglect it. I don’t mean that legalistically or in a “rule-keeping” way, but more so as an opportunity for God to reveal himself. God primarily speaks to us through His Word, so why let our wavering feelings trump that opportunity? If I see the Bible as a “self-help book” and just want it to make ME feel better when I read it, I miss the whole point and would rarely feel the need to be in it. The Bible constantly elevates Jesus, not ourselves. It confronts us with a beautiful story of Redemption, from front to back cover. And yet, I am not the point–Jesus is. Our world is so consumed with selfishness and self-centeredness and God help us, even as Christians we can tend to alter theology into what makes us feel comfortable, not allowing the Scripture to speak for itself. We’ll either add to it, subtract from it, or avoid parts we “feel” like we don’t need to read or don’t want to confront. 2 Timothy 3:16 says “ALL Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”
There is one verse that God used to reveal to me why I have been so restless lately. Recently I have been trying to make an effort to read my Bible in the morning before I do anything else (although I usually get my coffee before I read haha). But in that effort, I never know where to read so I keep searching and searching for something that will “fill me.” Is it not true that ALL of Scripture points to Jesus? The verse that God used is John 5:39-40 when Jesus speaks to the Pharisee’s (those abiding by the Law, not the Spirit) and says “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” The point of reading Scripture isn’t an end in itself, but should lead to us getting more of Jesus himself. That is where true rest is found. We don’t read Scripture to just get more knowledge for the sake of knowledge, but rather to allow that knowledge to transform our minds and hearts to become more like Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. So next time you read a passage in the Bible and think it doesn’t apply to you, ask God how it might bring you more of Jesus. It’s always in those times when I don’t desire God, yet get in His Word anyways, where He truly shows me more of himself, and in light of that, diminishes my self-focused, restless mind and heart so that I can truly rest in him alone.