His Sustaining Grace
I (Lauren) have a confession to make. I'm obsessed with getting things done. Every minute of my day is planned so I can fill-it-to-the-brim with tasks to accomplish.
And while this might have scored me nicknames "activator" and "energizer bunny" in the office, I know one of my greatest strengths is my greatest downfall. The fast-paced, overachieving, "be-it-all" and "do-it-all" mentality that I live by leaves me at times utterly deceived, living apart from the Lord's strength. It leaves me frenetic, striving for air, exhausted and burnt out. Which brings me to last Sunday.....
It hit me like a ton of bricks. After a long and hard week, I crashed and faced a terrible fever. As I physically declined more, I was forced to cancel meetings and work, saying no to people and plans. This brought me anxiety.
Que the inner voice.... "You are a failure. You should feel guilty for not working. How could you let that person down? You're weak right now."
I know I'm not a slave to my to-do lists or negative thoughts, and my identity rests in Jesus, but If I'm honest, I battle thoughts that aren't true. I struggle to simply rest and receive His grace.
But if I'm honest, I battle thoughts
that aren't true. I struggle to
simply rest and receive His grace.
Instead of seeking rest in the Lord - rest for my soul, rest for my body, rest in every sense...I found a way to continue striving, to push my way out and get better. And it was at my weakest moment that God met me.
I was reading my favorite devotional "Morning Mercies" by Paul Tripp. He writes..."Hope is not to be found in your willingness and ability to endure, but in God's unshakable, enduring commitment to never turn from his work of grace. Your hope is that you have been welcomed into communion with One who will endure no matter what. Your perseverance rests on him and he defined what endurance looks like! You don't have to depend on you. Not when you've been blessed with right here, right now grace from Jesus."
"You don't have to depend you. Not when you've been blessed with right here, right now, grace from Jesus."
At the moment I gasped for air, God gently reminded me to breathe in His grace. The grace that sustains. The grace that is all we'll ever need. My heart had become so distracted. I pushed a pace I could no longer keep, a pace that was outside of what God set in motion for me. When I recognized my ability to persevere and recover rested fully on Him, I found freedom. Ultimately, I needed to realign myself spiritually to God's purposes and plans. It was time to set aside my "agendas of achievement" and seek physical and spiritual healing.
I'm reminded of Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 12:9. "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
I want Jesus' power to rest upon me. I want to give him space to complete the work he has begun. I want to embrace my weakness, so that I may persevere, through the grace that always sustains me. And whatever I do, I want to do it all to the glory of God. May you be content in His sustaining grace today and always.