Have you ever woken up in the morning and felt more tired than you were the night before? You hoped that you would enter the next day refreshed and ready to take on whatever comes your way. Instead, you feel your battery is careening towards 0%, and you have no idea how to slow it down. I’ve felt like this more than once, and it’s a discouraging place to be. After countless restless nights that led to hectic days, I finally realized that I was burning myself out on self-reliance. I was trying to do everything on my own; I wasn’t letting myself slow and reset. And most importantly, instead of surrendering my life to the Lord, I was holding onto it as tightly as Gollum holds onto the one ring.
The world that we live in revolves around a hustle mindset. It tells us that if we ever want to accomplish anything in life, we need to wake up at 4am and go to bed at 11pm. We have to spend endless hours doing everything we can to advance in our field. The world screams that we are the only ones responsible for how our lives turn out, and in turn, we’re to blame if we aren’t living how we imagined. But that’s a lot of pressure and weight that was never meant to rest on our shoulders. We’re not meant to hold up the whole world by ourselves.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.”Psalm 23:1-3
We need to rest. We weren’t created to do everything all the time or even to do everything ourselves. God has called us to rest, to remember that He is the one in control, not us. Taking one day a week, or even an hour a day, to sit in the presence of the Lord is life-changing. We rest by abiding in Him, and we abide in Him by following His commands. That means we have to set intentional time to learn about God and grow in our relationship with Him. Being with the Lord is more important than anything else. Resting in Him is what restores our souls and refreshes our spirits.
Take a moment and put whatever you’re holding on the ground. Now place your hands palm down in your lap. And inhale and flip them over. These are called “willing hands.” People do it when they’re praying or worshiping, and it’s a sign of surrender and receiving. We’re surrendering whatever we’ve been holding onto with a white-knuckle grip, placing it back in the hands of the Lord. And we’re also open to receiving what the Lord has for us. You can’t take hold of the Lord if your hands are filled with the things of this world.
We sing songs and read verses proclaiming the Lord as our rock and mighty fortress. The place we’re supposed to run to in times of trouble, and the place we’re supposed to dwell in times of peace. But how often do we actively live out those truths? Self-sufficiency throws us into a downward spiral that leads to exhaustion, stress, and burnout. These are all burdens that we were never meant to bear and that the Lord is asking us to surrender to Him.
We don’t have to be tied down by the lie that we need to hold everything together. That’s the Lord’s job, not ours, so let it go. Step back from the rush and tumble of life for a moment and walk back into the shadow of God’s wing. Let go of what you’ve been holding onto so you can take hold of what God is doing in your life.