Read His Words Before Ours!
I’m a runner.
But it took a while for me to make that self-declaration.
I somehow felt I had to ascertain a certain level of running before I could call myself a runner.
Was I fast enough to be runner? (I Googled the pace difference between “jogging” and “running” just to be sure) Was I clocking enough miles? Wearing the right shoes? Collecting enough race bibs?
When I finally did feel I’d earned the “runner” badge, there were times I felt like I’d lost it.
Stretches of 10 days where I didn’t lace up.
There was that entire month I didn’t run.
Or the four months in late pregnancy/early post-partum where I denied my identity as a runner all-together.
But, as my husband readily insists, I am a runner and I love running.
(no matter how much I hate it sometimes).
Whether I run everyday or go months without donning my favorite running gear, I am still a runner. Sometimes, I put in the work and became a better runner, and sometimes, I let life crowd out what I feel alive doing.
In a much deeper sense, we are all eternal souls.
True, it’s not an identity we think about often, but regardless, it is our most basic identity.
Here’s the deal with “souls”, we only get one of them, ever, for now and for eternity.
There are no replacement deals.
And guess who’s the one responsible for its sole (pun totally intended) care and well-being?
We are the only ones responsible for the upkeep of our own souls,
yet we often let life crowd out what makes us feel most alive.
We cut out rest.
We cut out taking care of our souls.
We believe the lie that taking care of us is somehow selfish, that we would be better people if we only gave ourselves away to others instead of pouring into ourselves.
I’m not saying anything crazy here like live life only for you and only do what makes you happy,
but the care and maintenance of your soul is biblical.
Jesus made space to care for His soul while on earth. Luke 5:16
He recognized that in order to be as effective as He was called to be,
He had to live a lifestyle of soul care.
Jesus was never found rushing from ministry to ministry, feeling pulled in every direction without room to breathe.
His pace was intentional.
His rhythm was careful.
His focus was unwavering.
He embraced His emotions.
And He was 100% effective and successful in what He set out to accomplish.
Of course, unlike Jesus who was perfect in His humanity, we aren’t,
but the standard of perfection never looked like a mad race.
Just because we give ourselves to God’s safekeeping for eternity, doesn’t mean we are “off the hook” in caring for ourselves.
Nor does it mean that caring for our souls now looks like endless giving to others, even if we enjoy giving ourselves away.
Even with the Holy Spirit of the Living God breathing inside of us,
we still need to be called away from loving others that we can refuel in His rest.
Here’s the thing, it’s hard.
It’s hard to live rested.
Because we are awesome at giving stellar excuses as to why we can’t rest, refuel, and re-set our pace.
When I get sidetracked with life, ignoring my identity as a runner, and my husband or kids ask me why I haven’t gone running, I give excuses.
“The kids needed me to do this.”
“I’ve had all those meetings at church lately.”
“The kitchen is so messy.”
“I haven’t made dinner.”
“The laundry is out of control.”
No matter what your excuses look like, they are as abundant as you want them to be.
Here’s the undeniable:
I live out the gospel better when I care for my own soul.
I’m more effective.
I’m more loving.
I’m More Like Jesus when I rest and invest in who God has created me to be.
This whole idea for resting?
It began in the Garden of Eden.
With God, the Creator.
And on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done, and He rested… and made it holy,
because on it God rested from all his work. (Genesis 2:2-3, emphasis mine)
Wait. Why exactly did God make the 7th day holy?
Yes, because He rested.
Holiness and resting….how often do you put those two together?
Resting Was Holy.
What areas might God be calling you away from that you might experience the deep, freshness of His rest in your everyday?
Jesus is waiting there.
He’s waiting in that rest to make you more holy, Beloved Daughter.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!