When I fill so much of my time driving up and down the same stretch of road, I tend to spend it thinking and praying about all that we’re walking through. It was on one of these trips where I began wondering how exactly am I supposed to ‘be still and let God fight for me’ when our family has so much need. Does it mean to pray and do nothing else to solve my problems? Does it mean to do my part to actively fix my problems while I pray? Does it mean some other combination? How exactly do you remain ‘still’ when you’re drowning and not try to fight with all you have left and just ‘trust’ that it will all work out?
The Bible, at times, seems full of contradictions. In one verse we’re told to be still and in another, we’re told to work. For example, Proverbs 12:11 states: “Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.” So, which is it? Am I supposed to work and not be still? How am I supposed to rest in God while still ‘working my land’ so that my family will have ‘abundant food’? While I am still wrestling with this one, and may very well not have a clear answer until we’ve long past this season, I realized a potential answer on my daily commute to the hospital.
It occurred to me as I was driving that that very act might be the key. I actively have to make choices of where I’m driving and how I’m driving and whether I will text and drive or wear a seatbelt. To drive back and forth requires a good bit of ‘work’ on my part in order for me to successfully arrive where I want to go. I utilize all of my experience and knowledge on safe driving practices when I’m behind the wheel. Simultaneously, I’m resting. I rest in the assurance that my car won’t run out of gas or tires deflate or a car swerve into me. I rest in the assurance that the car will go where I steer it and that the brakes will work when I press them. I rest in the knowledge that as long as I do my part in making good choices, God will do what I cannot and ensure my safe and successful arrival. I work and rest simultaneously. Along the drive, there is an untold number of times or ways God may be fighting on my behalf-perhaps nudging the driver I’m about to pass to look up from their phone just in time to prevent them from swerving into me.
Is it possible to take these same lessons and apply them to my daily ‘work’ life? Can I do my best to take my knowledge and experiences of things already in my hand and steer each in the potential best direction for my family WHILE I REST in the knowledge that ONLY God can open doors for myself and my family? Can I rest in the realization that ONLY God can prompt people to respond, or soften hearts and to give me favor so that I can successfully provide ‘abundant food’ for my family? As long as I work hard to do what I know to do, then I can rest in the assurance and promises of God that HE WILL produce a harvest for us?
If you’re struggling with the idea of how to ‘rest’ and ‘work’ as you trust God to move, let me hear from you. I’d love to hear how you’re working out this Biblical ‘contradiction’ too.