I woke up this morning feeling restless. It could be the 7,000 holiday calories I have eaten every day for the past two weeks or it could be that a new year has started and so follows the resolutions. I have a feeling it is deeper than both of those reasons though. I think I am restless with myself. I am restless with the unremarkable amount of followers I have on Instagram and how few Christmas cards I got in the mail. I am restless with my car; I wish it were cleaner, newer, etc. I am restless with my furniture; our couch is so old and worn, maybe we should go “Mediterranean” and throw some pillows on the floor. I am restless with who I am; I should be better, a better artist, in better shape, and more theologically minded. I am restless with the nothing that has filled my last few months. I have encapsulated the word blah. There is an itch in my heart that I just cannot get to.
So this morning as I sat and tried to think of a way to satiate the itch that my heart required, it came to me like a whisper, “It isn’t about who I am, it is about the I AM.” Now you probably already know this revelation is the heartbeat of our confession and our creed. But I have slipped back again. Slipping back to the bottom of the stairs, thinking the better I become the higher I can climb. I have forgotten the stairs are there for Him to descend to me, not for me to work my way up to Him.
As long as I’m caught up in who I am, I will be restless. I will constantly be searching for something to make me feel settled. The most obvious news flash this new year is that I will never satisfy myself. I will never be able to look at my life and think, “Yes, I have arrived. I am the best at everything I want to be the best at (which of course is everything).”
On mornings like these when I feel broken and see my heart has once again wandered away from its home, the Holy Spirit woos me back to Him. The true lover of my soul (Psalm 23:3), the great I AM (Exodus 3:14). The First and the Last (Revelation 22:13). The one who sets the terms for the relationship and then upholds the terms for the relationship (Romans 3:26). The one who comforts me (John 14:26). The one who wholly loves me (Ephesians 3:19). The one who remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:13). The one who forgives my sin (Psalm 103:3). The one who knows my limitations, my weaknesses and says, “Yes that one, I want that one to be my bride” (Isaiah 62:5). The one who made me exactly as I am (Isaiah 64:8) and rejoices over me with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). The one who binds my broken heart (Psalm 147:3) even when my broken heart is caused by loving everything but Him (John 14:27). The one who calls me to rest in who He is, unchangingly kind, and not in who I am (Jeremiah 31:3). @@He is my peace, my joy, and my resting place both now and forever (Isaiah 32:17-18).@@
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in you.”
(The Confessions of Saint Augustine, Book 1.1)
[Jesus declared] “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, ESV)
Jessica is an author of several books and a frequent conference speaker. Her heart is to see women, families, and children freed from the bondage of moralism and to live in the truth that in the gospel there is joyful freedom awaiting them. Jess has a Bachelor's Degree in Theology and with her mother, Elyse Fitzpatrick, she co-authored the books Give Them Grace and Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions. She has also written Exploring Grace Together and Everyday Grace: Infusing All Your Relationships With the Love of Jesus. Jess believes the truth that salvation is "naked confidence in the mercy of God." She has been married to her high school sweetheart since 1995. Together they have three teenage children.