I woke up this morning feeling restless. It could be the 7,000 holiday calories I have eaten every day for the past two weeks or it could be that a new year has started and so follows the resolutions. I have a feeling it is deeper than both of those reasons though. I think I am restless with myself. I am restless with the unremarkable amount of followers I have on Instagram and how few Christmas cards I got in the mail. I am restless with my car; I wish it were cleaner, newer, etc. I am restless with my furniture; our couch is so old and worn, maybe we should go “Mediterranean” and throw some pillows on the floor. I am restless with who I am; I should be better, a better artist, in better shape, and more theologically minded. I am restless with the nothing that has filled my last few months. I have encapsulated the word blah. There is an itch in my heart that I just cannot get to.
So this morning as I sat and tried to think of a way to satiate the itch that my heart required, it came to me like a whisper, “It isn’t about who I am, it is about the I AM.” Now you probably already know this revelation is the heartbeat of our confession and our creed. But I have slipped back again. Slipping back to the bottom of the stairs, thinking the better I become the higher I can climb. I have forgotten the stairs are there for Him to descend to me, not for me to work my way up to Him.
As long as I’m caught up in who I am, I will be restless. I will constantly be searching for something to make me feel settled. The most obvious news flash this new year is that I will never satisfy myself. I will never be able to look at my life and think, “Yes, I have arrived. I am the best at everything I want to be the best at (which of course is everything).”
On mornings like these when I feel broken and see my heart has once again wandered away from its home, the Holy Spirit woos me back to Him. The true lover of my soul (Psalm 23:3), the great I AM (Exodus 3:14). The First and the Last (Revelation 22:13). The one who sets the terms for the relationship and then upholds the terms for the relationship (Romans 3:26). The one who comforts me (John 14:26). The one who wholly loves me (Ephesians 3:19). The one who remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:13). The one who forgives my sin (Psalm 103:3). The one who knows my limitations, my weaknesses and says, “Yes that one, I want that one to be my bride” (Isaiah 62:5). The one who made me exactly as I am (Isaiah 64:8) and rejoices over me with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). The one who binds my broken heart (Psalm 147:3) even when my broken heart is caused by loving everything but Him (John 14:27). The one who calls me to rest in who He is, unchangingly kind, and not in who I am (Jeremiah 31:3). He is my peace, my joy, and my resting place both now and forever (Isaiah 32:17-18).
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in you.”
(The Confessions of Saint Augustine, Book 1.1)
[Jesus declared] “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30