I began the summer of 2016 in anticipation of resting. In regards to church and community, the beginning of this year was emotionally and spiritually taxing. I had imagined my resting would look something like this: I would go to church each Sunday and go home; I wouldn’t talk to anyone and they wouldn’t talk to me. I would have been quiet, taken in the preached word and kept to myself. Basically, my resting would have consisted of me doing nothing and being bothered by no one.
However, God is good. His plans are greater than our plans and his desires for our lives are greater than our desires (1 Cor. 2:9). Praise God that His version of rest is not like our version of rest!
I spent this summer being in community with a close group of Christian friends. We did bible studies, book studies, movie nights, game nights, hikes, lunches, late night dinners and ice cream. We even filmed a music video! I have never been more social with a group of people in my entire life.
What I was reminded this year was how easy all this 'being social' was. In the past, I’ve always found being around people for extended periods of time emotionally, and sometimes physically, exhausting. But this year was not exhausting. I didn’t feel tired or overwhelmed. I felt rested.
When I use the word rest, I’m not talking about my energy level, or getting enough sleep. I’m talking about spiritual rest (Heb. 4:9-10). For Christians, this world is a battle (Rom. 8:13). Sin is war and the enemy seeks to destroy us by whatever means possible. Life takes its toll on us. After months and months of pouring out, with little being poured in, I needed rest.
God has spoken into my life a lot this year. Here are two of my big take aways: 1. God will deliver the things we didn’t know we wanted. God knows what we truly need in order to accomplish His will (Matt. 6:33) and He will give us those things over what we think we want. 2. If we want something good, God can one up us and deliver more than we expected. God is not content with giving us the good things we desire. He is always orchestrating something much larger than what we see.
As we move into 2017, I’m looking forward to a season of learning and building deeper friendships. I urge you all to prayerfully seek what God wants for your life during this next season. What does God want you to do? How do you want God to work in and through you?