This post first appeared on More Than Writers the blog of the Association of Christian Writers, on September 16th 2016.
The Lord has been speaking to me about resting in Him over the last few months. Resting in God is something I know about in theory but am very poor at doing in practise. In practise resting in God means letting go of things. But I frequently don't want to let go of these things.
Now the rest of God is not a rest work—it’s a rest work. It’s partnering with God to do what He is calling you to do by His grace, and leaving the part you can’t do in His hands, trusting Him to do it.Joyce Meyer
|Photo - Kate Ter Haar|
I remember going on a retreat to a convent many years ago. There was a nun leading some of the sessions. I don't remember her name but I do remember her talking about leaving things with God. She spoke about imagining that we had wrapped up our problems in brown paper packages (Are you now singing 'My Favourite Things' from The Sound of Music to yourself? I was when I wrote this). She told us to imagine ourselves leaving our brown paper packages at the foot of the cross with Jesus.
I am quite a visual person so I found this helpful. I even manage to take her advice sometimes. I leave my parcels at the foot of the cross, neat parcels of brown paper tied up with string, 'To God, Love Lynda xxx' written on the front. So far so good, you may be thinking. But, my problem is leaving them there. I go back to the parcels and start opening them again. I try to peep under the paper like a child with her Christmas presents under the tree. I keep looking at my parcels, wondering what God will do with them. I can't leave them alone.
At other times, I don't get around to wrapping my problems up for God. I leave them sitting around the lounge of my mind, wrapping paper in a pile, unused. I trip over the unwrapped problems, stubbing my toe on them, or worse. Life gets uncontrollable, with unwrapped problems littering my head, making life difficult. I may even spend time with God, telling him about my problems but I keep them firmly in my hands. I don't leave them with Him, at the foot of the cross. I walk away from my time with Him, parcels of problems still firmly in my arms.
I find it so hard to leave my problems with God. But I want to change. God is speaking to me about resting in Him. He wants me to allow Him to take my burdens. He longs to take my burdens. I know I have a long way to go in this but I am on the way. I won't give up. I will keep going to God, brown paper packages in my arms and I will leave them at the foot of the cross even if I have to leave the same package many times, re-wrapped many times. They say practise makes perfect!
What about you? Are you able to leave your brown paper packages of problems at the foot of the cross?