Trust/Rest

I’ve been around the idea of trust for sometime, but I didn’t really begin to think about rest until listening to a series on it maybe seven years ago.  I never realized how powerful rest is.  When we strive and fear and fret, its not only so exhausting, its just simply a less fun way to be alive.  I think it helped me to answer the question, what does trust look like?  It can and often, looks like rest

Our imagination can cause our heart to tighten up and our breath to shorten when we imagine some undesired outcome.  Sometimes this process of fear is actually worse than even what we’re fearing!  Most times, these imaginings never come to fruition and they are nothing more than a haunting illusion.  But the goal of fear in our lives is to cause us to become our own Gods.  This is never in our job description.

The only thing that interrupts this is a living relationship with the one who is God.  When we know he is good and we know he is in our future situations and events as much as he’s in our immediate moment, we will rest in the face of illusions of possible frustrations or disappointments.  I think one of the ways God displays his greatness is actually in the personal details of our lives.  He’s really good at.

20150425092425756

In the kingdom of God, a living relationship with a good father, brother, and friend (just a few of the dimensions of our relationship with God) keeps our heart at rest.  Because we experience his love for us, we believe it, we remember it, and we trust rather than react like someone who is alone and needs to fix/control things when there could be an event or situation outside of our expectations.

In God’s kingdom, peace doesn’t have to be forsaken.  If there is a thought or conversation that threatens it, when you recognize that feeling, it is okay to let go of control, to change or fix something.  It is okay not to figure everything out or why something went wrong.  It is okay not having everything figured out for things to come.  It’s okay.  You’re going to be okay.  You are living loved.  And there is someone very capable with you sharing in your experience who is not worried, not fretting, not far away, and who understands and loves you very much.

Trust/Rest is just one more wonderful attribute of God’s wonderful invisible kingdom.  I have forgotten this in certain situations and events in my life.  I can feel his tangible love even now.  And just recently I have been able to completely let go of things in the past I don’t understand, aren’t fixed, and can’t change.  I can trust/rest God completely with the past as much as we can with illusions of our future.  He really is good and moves on our behalf.  It is a beautiful journey of courage that only love creates: surrender.

4_in_der_wiese_liegen

Character     Covenant     Creativity

Family     Freedom    Gift Giver

Joy    Judgement    Kindness    Trust

Love     Praise      Prayer     Self-love

Joy

He keeps turning my eye here.  I try to focus on other things in this world or his kingdom and he keeps pointing me to this thing called happiness, this thing called Joy.  Perhaps the wide road is the one of worry, fear, anxiety and frustration and the narrow road of heaven we’re actually invited to traverse upon could just be the road of trust, peace, contentment, love, rest and joy.

Joy somehow sparkles with glory and a supernatural existence; it is a gift of heaven without limit and often overlooked.  Joy has a lowly state.  It is often seen as ignorance or immaturity.  Serious, urgent things are looked upon with esteem and great importance.  But Joy is not news.  It is not urgent.  It does not fight for power.  Joy is meek and unassuming.  It is persistent and unexpected, playful and a welcomed guest.

There are things we must chose to not give attention to in order to participate in Joy.  We must look away from the fears of our own condition and any worries ahead.  We must turn away from decisions gone awry behind us.  Joy requires us, or allures us rather to be entirely present once again.  We must let go of performance in it’s company.  It is participation with someone wholly other than ourselves.  A different source from which this magical river flows; Jesus’ side.

It is God’s expressed desire for our Joy to be full, not finding lack in our experience of this wonderful gift of heaven.  But the realist would ask, what is Joy’s purpose?  How is it productive or long lasting?  Joy is a fruit to be enjoyed, not to be made into a gadget for a machine to use.  It’s expression is as purposeful as the beauty of a flower.  It is meant to be enjoyed.

The treasure map to finding joy is clearly shown in scripture.  Psalm 16 says the fullness of Joy is found in God’s presence.  Everlasting pleasure is found at his right hand.  Not on this earth or in a thing or an activity or a person, but in God’s company.  His nearness, his friendship.  Where can you find his will for your emotions?  In the goodness, safety, commitment and gladness of himself!

So many things can happen in life that deter our hearts from this child-like track.  Perceived failures, tragic losses, disappointed expectations, and hurtful betrayal are just to name a few.  The eternal part of joy is that we don’t derive it from what we see around us, what people are saying, or doing.  We derive it from his presence within us.  It is truly powerful and absolutely unassailable.  Nothing has truly threatened or will ever be able to take away this gift of Joy that has been given to us through Christ Jesus.   He has overcome everything that claims to have overcome his presence in your walk with him in this life.  His Joy is yours.  His Joy is mine.  And it endures.

Character     Covenant     Creativity

Family     Freedom    Gift Giver

Joy    Judgement    Kindness    Trust

Love     Praise      Prayer     Self-love

 

Praise

You make this…

This is heaven’s secret weapon on earth, and it is my secret weapon.  Even though I have it tattooed on my arm, I didn’t realize it until later.  I’m not talking about a religious stream of words engulfing eternity aimed at a distant enthroned God either.  I’m also not talking about dancing in white dresses in the front of a church with prophetically painted flags.

Heaven is whimsical and mysterious, but also entirely practical.  What is the good of any of those above forms if when you walk out relationship you are critical of the people you live or work with, if you berate yourself, or are pessimistically ‘real’ when it comes to life.

Whatever you do unto other people, you do unto God; basic heaven 101 stuff right there.  Well, have you praised him lately?… in other people?  One of the windows of life I entirely love and adore is really seeing an experience or event or circumstance in another person’s life and getting to celebrate it with them, even if they haven’t begun to celebrate it themselves yet.  I have concluded that this is praise.

I could dance on top of mountains and high buildings, but I love cheering someone on as they take their first step at the bottom of the mountain; often it’s the hardest one.  I love laughing in the face of other people’s self doubt when they surprise themselves about what they’re capable of.  I love celebrating who people are, even when they’re forgotten to see their divine shine.  It really is there all the time.  This is my joy in life and it will not be taken from me.

Praise is the water that freedom and life grows in.  And I’m not talking about lying to people either.  Or puffing them up.  The glorious part about praise is that it’s all true.  Love never sets honesty aside, they’re completely compatible.  Do you know you will be surrounded by praise in heaven?  Not just of God, but all of culture will celebrate and not condemn?  No one will remember or bring up the bad stuff, ever, to you again.  No one will accuse your heart of evil, but your goodness will be known to yourself and others, just as He is good?  Rest in knowing he has no end in celebrating with you, about you, and is excited about what’s to come.

…and I see this. Not even that you would make a perfect piece of pottery one day, but that you have already begun a beautiful journey of process that involved risk of failure and therefore required courage.

Character     Covenant     Creativity

Family     Freedom    Gift Giver

Joy    Judgement    Kindness    Trust

Love     Praise      Prayer     Self-love

Here and Now

Here’s the other little tidbit of thought redirection that has been taking place internally of late.  Of course we observe that so much regret involves the past and so much worry involves the future.  Neither of which we are really invited to control much.  Jesus says don’t worry about tomorrow and Paul says put yesterday behind you and look forward.  Another spectrum for me that my thoughts wander to other than time is location.  I’m thinking about what’s happening here or there, or with this person, or with that person and this can all be well and dandy but it can also be nothing to do with Life in my heart.

time-does-not-exist

So the phrase that I’ve been prompted to through song and just grace is “Here and Now.”  Are your thoughts engaged with here, meaning his presence with me and the people around me and the opportunities around me HERE??  And are my thoughts engaged with NOW, such as not things that already happened or things that could happen in the future that I don’t need to worry about, but are my thoughts on today NOW??

If my thoughts aren’t in one of those two place either here or now, they better be accompanied by feelings of excitement and joy otherwise my mind doesn’t have any business bringing my heart there again.

power-of-his-presence

Jesus and his presence and his goodness are with me HERE and with me NOW and will be with me wherever and whenever I get to those future times and places, even if they involve hard conversations dealing with things that have happened in the past.  He has my heart and those moments in his hands and is leading and living with me in kindness, strength and joy.  He really does want to experience the life and joy within the moments surrounding me and I accept his invitation to let go of control or fear or regret in exchange for trust and thanksgiving setting me up to engage with him HERE and NOW.