Do You Feel Rested?
Something eye-opening happened to me recently. Our family of four made a trip to my in-laws to celebrate the 1st birthday of my niece. The trip was completely worth it as she devoured her first chocolate cupcake like something on the Discovery channel.
The Feeling Of Restlessness
It was during this particular trip the Lord graciously showed me how restless my soul is. How do I know this you ask? Because I found myself almost constantly moving during my entire time there.
Have you ever experienced this? You’re running a fast pace in most areas of your life and then when you get out of that environment or something changes, you’re now freed up from certain commitments and you’re not sure what to do.
To quote Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights in trying to learn how to give an interview, “I don’t know what to do with my hands.”
That’s how I felt. I was out of my element. Had it been a normal day at the house, I would have been moving. Cleaning. Fixing. Reading. Moving.
But, this was different. I wasn’t at home, it was a day off, our kids were occupied, and I was left wondering what to do with my hands. At the end of that day, I was able to reflect and recognize that I found myself like a pinball bouncing back and forth, snacking on goodies around the house or diving into social media on my phone over and over again.
Although these things at the moment felt good, they were only temporary reliefs to this soul level of restlessness. I was physically restless because I was spiritually restless.
In Mark 1, we’re given insight into one of Jesus’ busiest days. That morning he was teaching at a synagogue, dodged getting killed, went over to Peter’s house, healed Peter’s Mom, and at sundown tons of people showed up who wanted healing too.
This is an introvert’s nightmare. People everywhere, all around you, all the time. But even as an extrovert, I would be like “OK…” with a smile, “I love y’all, but you need to go.”
All of the fullness of God was pleased to dwell in Jesus (Col. 1:15-20). Jesus was fully man and fully God. So he felt tired (John 4:6). He felt hungry (Lk. 4:2). So, you know after the last 24 hours of Jesus’ day, he tired.
Let’s look at what he does:  And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)
So, instead of hitting the snooze (which no one would have blamed him for), Jesus gets up and prays. Instead of making first a good cup of coffee, exercising, or whatever else, he goes someplace quiet and he connects with his Heavenly Father.
It’s at the beginning of Mark 1 at Jesus’ baptism that God the Father speaks over Jesus claiming him as his “beloved Son” in whom he is well pleased (Mk. 1:9-11).
Jesus’ teaching, healing, working and doing all flow out of who he already is in his relationship with God, his Beloved Son. Jesus’ actions were not to try and earn his way into that relationship or to earn God’s love because he already had them.
Our Identity in Christ
My movement sometimes by God’s grace is out of my identity in Christ. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes I tie my value and worth to what I can produce, approval from others, or comfort, instead of who Jesus is and what he’s done in his life, death, and resurrection for me.
This is a great hope for everyone today. We can acknowledge the restlessness that comes from trying to identify ourselves with anything or anyone other than Jesus. We can turn to Jesus today and be reminded (maybe for the first time, or for the millionth time) that the only true rest for our souls comes in relationship and connection to him.