Mornings I read and journal on a balcony to the sounds of rustling palm trees. Afterwards, we all suit up and head to the pool to swim and play. The hotel room offers cool shade for the afternoon rest. We walk on the beach at sunset catching hermit crabs and finding shells. We sink our toes in the sand underneath our dinner table by the beach. Idyllic, right?
But my heart grows restless in the midst of all this wonder. Instead of an increasing relaxation I find an uneasiness rise up. It’s hard to enjoy and enter the rest.
The world says we are entitled to this time. Our Human Resources handbook says we accrued the weeks. Our bosses approved our timing. We saved to afford our accomodations. Beyond that is the self-justification. We never take all our allotted vacation time.
But my heart knows something deeper. It knows I don’t deserve it and I didn’t earn it and I can’t pay it back. It is a gift, a grace, a display of God’s generosity that I can never repay. And I want to pay. I really want to pay! I feel that in repaying it I can more fully enjoy it. But there is no way to repay it…no way. I’m caught.
So God leaves me with a choice to accept the gift with thankfulness or do what I do now…struggle to find a way to pay and in doing so, rebel. Because in wanting to deserve, to earn, to pay I strive to be equal with God Himself! And I startle at the realization. I want to be equal to God, always have and, this side of heaven, always will to some extent.
So I miss out on the rest…or I was missing out.
In the coming days I hope to enter the rest He provides. Enter it boldly. Not the vacation rest but the real rest my heart seeks…the rest from thinking I can earn, deserve, repay, prove. To receive the gift of His Son who paid all on my behalf. I need no longer strive.
I need only accept the gift with a smile, that gift that is so priceless I cease from all rebellious endeavors to repay it. I bind myself to the Gift-giver heart and soul. Even that is a gift for my wayward, wandering, rebellious soul.
To be anchored by His undeserved favor, the true rest for my weary soul.