I have a memory that’s forever pressed into my heart. One of those endearing moments that I know I will never forget.
Years ago, when I was a young “30 something” mom of four littles God gave me a moment. I don’t have much memory from those years. We were mostly in survival mode, raising 4 kids, making sure they were fed, picked up on time and given hugs here and there.
One day when the youngest of four kids was threeish, he and I ended up with a day and night alone. The 3 older sibs were out and about with activities and Dad was out of town. We spent the entire day together which was a rare occasion. Just the two of us. This little guy’s name was Banks.
It was a simple day, probably included a happy meal from McDonalds with lots of ketchup and a trip to the dollar tree to spend three whole dollars.
An entire day. All about Banks. The gift of presence with this little one was a treasure.
It was a real treat for one of the kids to sleep in our huge bed when Daddy was out of town. This was Banks’ night to spend the night in Mom’s room. After a bath and comb down of his wet toddler hair, dressed in soft car printed pj’s, we both crashed after our fun filled day. I would lay by him until he fell asleep, offering that last moment of undivided attention, security and kisses.
Eyelids heavy, Banks spoke in his tiny toddler voice, “Mama, I had a good day. Thank you.”
What? A three year old? I didn’t know it was possible for him to express these feelings at such a young age, much less show gratitude. Mind blown, heart touched. A short sentence I’d cherish forever.
Recently, I’ve been overwhelmed with the demands of life.
I’ve ceased to rest. I’ve been working, striving, pushing way too hard. I’m exhausted. I’m spent. I haven’t taken care of myself physically or spiritually.
In love, God stopped me in my busy tracks with some health issues that were related to stress. His severe mercy threw up a wall before me that had written on it, “Time to rest.”
Like a toddler pulling away when being disciplined. I fussed. I squirmed with Him for days as if to say, “No!”
In my quiet moments of fear when all was still, He gently called me with reassuring voice …
“Come away with Me. I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
“Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me— The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do.” Isaiah 30:15
I’m His small child and He is holding my little cheeks in the palms of His hands, saying,
“Look at Me. The answer is to just come and be with Me.”
Just like He told Moses in Exodus 7 when he was feeling inadequate, He is reminding me to let go of my performance driven life. Rely on Him.
He has gotten my attention. I’m learning to incorporate rest into my daily routine. I am receiving the gift.
Life pulls me away, but He draws me back continually.
What does rest with God look like?
I’m learning that it has more to do with internal rest than external rest. He is showing me that I can rest on the inside when life is swirling on the outside. I remember that He is with me every moment offering a sweet sense of love and security. He longs for me to be mindful that He is near and when I am practicing His presence in my life, there I will find rest.
Hour by hour, minute by minute.
He says, “Come away my beloved.” Song of Solomon 2:10
Just like the entire day spent with Banks, do I live as if I believed that God longs to spend everyday with me? I have His undivided attention. Unfathomable, really.
I’m reminded of the promise,
“You are intimately acquainted with all of my ways.” Psalm 139:3
When I rest in His arms I hear Him say, “I love spending a day with you.”
And my response?
“I had a good day, Father. Thank you.”