I struggle with restlessness. Sometimes it looks like frustration that the world is so broken and a feeling of powerlessness to change it. Other times it looks like a desire to do more, be more, and maybe even be somewhere else. I think it’s influenced by culture, both in the world and in the church. As a working mom, the world tells me I need to be 100% mom and 100% committed to work. I can never quite measure up to the world’s expectations. The church’s influence is a little different, and can be just as dangerous if not viewed from the right perspective. It says I need to be a great wife, a godly example to my children, involved in church activities, and volunteering to serve. It all feels like too much sometimes. Restless creates an instability of temperament, sometimes on a high of “I can do ALL THE THINGS!” only to crash and burn when I can’t keep up, leading to a low of “I can’t do ANYTHING right!”

So when Paul writes about, 

This is a man who has been chased out of town, beaten, imprisoned, participated in the martyr and imprisonment of Christians, shipwrecked, bitten by a snake, and on and on. But he’s also traveled all over the place, made disciples, had an encounter with Jesus Christ that left him blind, been healed of blindness, and reached the previously unreached on the front lines building the Church. How can he possibly ride out the highs and lows of life with a spirit of contentment? 

I think there are two ways: gratitude and a view of eternity.

Gratitude

Gratitude can only be accomplished through a right relationship with Jesus Christ. If we aren’t ready to acknowledge that the God who created the universe stepped down and became a Man to save us from all the ways we’ve messed up and all the good we didn’t feel like doing, it’s hard to be grateful. Only a person who knows they deserve death but God loved them so much He saved them can be truly grateful. The overwhelming gratitude for our salvation permeates the rest of our lives. We can be grateful for all the big things and the little things in our lives because our soul has been redeemed and is in right relationship with God. 

God knows the world isn’t right…yet. He hears the cries of the hurting, feels the pain of the oppressed, and carried the weight of sin all the way to the cross. 

He promises He’s big enough to handle our restlessness:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7

He trades our anxiety for peace when we approach His throne with a spirit of gratitude.

Again in 1 Thessalonians He promises to still our restless hearts when we:

We can find rest and peace in a world of ongoing turmoil knowing that God is ultimately in charge, He is good, and He has a plan for the redemption of the world. We can do the good things He sets out for us, knowing that He often calls us to more than we can handle both because He wants us to rely on His divine strength and because He knows we’re often tempted to take credit for the good only He can accomplish.

Eternity

The other way to settle our restless hearts is to place our peace in eternity rather than the present time. Depending on the day, and sometimes even the hour, our lives can swing from excitement to despair and confidence to insecurity. The only way to stabilize our souls is to keep our eyes on God and His promise to make all things right in the end.

“But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

1 Peter 3:13

God isn’t limited by time and space. He is able to see the beginning from the end, the entire story all at once. We can have peace knowing that He is making all things new, even when we can’t see it. We know that He is working for good in us and through us, even when we can’t see it. And we know that He is coming back to make all things right, even if we don’t know when that will be.

There will be a time when all is made right. If our heart is set in the perspective of eternity, our soul can find rest now.

Rest

There will be a time when all is made right. If our heart is set in the perspective of eternity, our soul can find rest now.

About megstoike

I'm a wife, mom of two, and lover of Jesus. I believe through Him we are transformed and receive new life, giving us unique purpose.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *