So here’s the rest of the story. I guess I am not the only Mcleod with trust issues. Sweet Sam struggles to trust that I know how to make a bed.
Sam, fresh off the Ipad, is frustrated because I interrupted level 7 on some game and asked him to make his bed. He’s whining and falling down, telling me he can’t make the bed. Despite my offering of a “check” towards his allowance, he’s convinced he cannot complete this task, begging me for help. I become frustrated and say “I won’t help you with this attitude” and walk out the door. Down the hall I hear, “Is that what I say to you when you ask for help?” I was shocked that I heard Him so clearly. I turned around and headed back to Sam’s room. I offer to help Sam and begin to go thru the steps for making his bed. “First you pull up the sheets, then you pull up the bedspread.” He grunts again, “I don’t do it that way, that won’t work.” I am tempted to walk out again. But I hear the Spirit again, “Just stay. I don’t leave you when you want to do things your way. Just stay and be available.” I usually don’t hear Jesus so well so I am definitely sticking around for this. So I tell Sam, “I will stay here and you let me know when you need help.” So once we get the bed made, all that is left are the pillows. I tell Sam, “Just put on your pillows and you will get your check.” Well, he says he is afraid to be left alone because his light switch has a timer and turns off after a few minutes. The builder put in this stupid timer and the lights do cut off after 5 minutes of being on, so I know he is genuinely scared. I hear the voice again, “Just stay. I never leave you when you are afraid.” So I stay. As Sam is putting on his pillows, he is still whining, this time about his superhero sheets. “I hate these sheets, I don’t like superhero’s anymore. I want new sheets.” Exasperated I vow, He’ll never get where he is going, never be able to sit down and rest. No, I didn’t really say that. That is from Hebrews 4! That’s what God said to the Israelites! I just wanted to see if you were still paying attention.
I realize this must be what I sound like to God. “I don’t want this body, I want a different one that is wrinkle free and more toned. I want my kids to behave differently, why are they so strong minded and opinionated? I just want new sheets.”
God has a goal for me with a reward at the end, his rest. Just like I had a goal for Sam with a reward at the end. But the path to get there was frustrating to watch. All Sam had to do was listen to me, follow my steps and the reward was his. This was such an amazing, simple illustration to me this morning. God was showing his heart and my heart to me through super hero sheets. He never leaves us on our path, he never left Abram or Jacob or the Israelites, or any of his children, despite their restless journey toward his path of rest.
Gen 28:15 “I will be with you constantly until I finish giving you all that I have promised.”
However, we see in Hebrews 4:1-11 that the Israelites didn’t enter God’s rest because of their unbelief (vs 3, 6). I have a choice, we all have a choice. Sam had a choice. We either believe God and trust his faithfulness, entering into his promise, or we doubt and suffer.
Vs 1 “God’s promise of entering his place of rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to get there.”
Vs 2 “We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn’t do them a bit of good because they didn’t receive the promises with faith.”
Vs 3 “For only we who believe can enter his place of rest.” The message version says “they will never get where they are going, never be able to sit down and rest”
In these verses it is clear that our rest depends on our belief and some of us may not get there. And that should make us tremble.
Vs 12 goes on to talk about the power of God’s word and vs 14-16 talk about the resources we have in Christ. I don’t think they were placed here haphazardly. In order to enter God’s rest, we must know what his word says and obey and trust it to be true. We must also know the advocate we have in Christ to empower us to do so.
Vs 14- “Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him.”
Vs 16- “Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will find grace to help us when we need it.” The MSG says “So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy and accept the help.”
I read this last verse and was undone. I want to get what he is so ready to give me. I want the help. This tired soul needs a break, a break from wanting to be right, wanting be noticed, wanting to behave well and have others behave well, wanting things to be calm, wanting different sheets. I need a good soul rest and He’s holding out his arms saying, “Come to me and I will give you rest.”
Overwhelmed, I prayed this prayer. “I will take whatever you are ready to give, I am tired. I want whatever you want to give me, whatever it looks like. I surrender the results. All the results, I surrender to the path, “Not to us, but to you Oh Lord.” (Psalm 115:1)
That feels good, scary, but good. That’s rest, not a life without hardship or stress, not an easy path, but surrender, trust, leaving the results and the path to him. That feels really good. Now to live it out. I trust You to help me live it out.