I used to have a guide dog named William. And, one Sunday morning, after I’d had William for several months, we sat attentively in my Bible study group.
Well, at least … I sat attentively … kind of.
It was awfully hard because William’s attention was riveted by a grasshopper that had made its way into our room via an open door.
William was determined to catch that critter—even if he had to knock over a stack of Bibles and three Baptists in the process! He slapped his paws forward and jerked his head in pursuit.
I, of course, was holding him on a leash and could feel his every move. With each muscle twitch, I pulled the leash a little more firmly.
Well, the tension in the room and the tension in the leash gave all at once as William defied gravity and all seventy pounds of him pounced on the grasshopper.
The Bible teacher recoiled as William surged. My husband, Phil, yanked on the mischievous mutt’s leash, and everyone laughed.
Everyone but me, that is.
My friend, Lori, who was sitting next to me, knew exactly why I wasn’t laughing, and she instinctively rose with me. We excused ourselves, leaving William with the class in the hope that he would “get some religion.”
You see, in the months after William and I got home from the dog school, things hadn’t gone as well as I had hoped. We had a bit of a rocky start to our relationship.
Just a few weeks earlier at the mall, he relieved his bladder right in front of Petite Sophisticates. It was a mess! I didn’t even know it was happening until some man graphically described it to me. Then I had to somehow manage to maintain my dignity while I cleaned up the mess. Believe me, at that moment, this petite did not look or feel very sophisticated!
Lots of situations like that over the previous months had made me feel like giving up trying to use a guide dog, and it all came to a head that Sunday.
As soon as Lori and I entered the ladies’ room, I burst into tears.
“It’s just not working,” I cried. “This is more of a liability than an asset. I’ve never wanted to quit so badly before, but—I don’t know if I should.”
We all feel the urge to quit, throw in the towel, or just give up from time to time, don’t we? Maybe today you feel overwhelmed and like you are just not up for one more task, one more smile, or one more issue.
But what if I told you that you can rest? Sister, you can!
On this episode of the 4:13 Podcast, KC and I share the acronym R.E.S.T. Each letter stands for a daily choice you can make that’s based on Scripture and will give you the strength to hang on when you want to let go.
4 Choices to R.E.S.T.
- Remain. The first way to hang in there and stay strong is to remain in Christ (John 15:4). Jesus is your life source. When you are connected to Him, His presence energizes you. He gives you the energy, motivation, and strength you need. When you remain in Him, your perspective changes and your power grows.
- Endure. Endurance isn’t passive. It is active perseverance. When you endure, you refuse to give in or give up too soon. When you endure, you look like Jesus. “For the joy set before Jesus, He endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:1, 2). So, for the joy set before you, endure. Don’t quit yet.
- Seek. When I feel overwhelmed, I start seeking a way out! I look to remedy all that is making me crazy. Maybe you do too. But, when we seek God first, we find that His grace washes over us, changes our perspective, and buoys us (Matthew 6:33). When we seek Him first, the other stuff is either added to us or it matters less to us. So, if you’re barely hanging on, don’t seek a solution—seek God first.
- Trust. Trust is a transfer you make in your heart. You transfer the ultimate responsibility for, and authority of, your life from yourself to God (Proverbs 3:5-6). That means you trust that God’s power is bigger than your problems. Even if you feel like you’re barely holding on, hold onto Him with a feeble fist full of faith and He will never, never, ever let you go!
So, if you feel like you are about to lose your grip, R.E.S.T. in God’s hands. He will carry you and give you rest. You can do this because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
Books by Jennifer Rothschild
- Lessons I Learned in the Dark: Steps to Walking by Faith, Not by Sight
- Me, Myself, & Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself
- What You Weave Is What You Leave
- How to Face the Day When You Want to Turn Your Back On It
- Slow Down and Breathe: 4 Ways to Escape Your Revolving Door
- Ending the Struggle to Juggle
- What If Obedience Doesn’t Pay Off?
- The Story Behind My Book God Is Just Not Fair
Events with Jennifer Rothschild
Links Mentioned in This Episode
- Cure: A Journey Into the Science of Mind Over Body by Jo Marchant
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What is one way you can rest today? Share in the comments below.