There was a lumberjack, Jack, hired to cut down 30 trees a day. For the first few days the 30 trees fell easily under his axe, since Jack was a stud. But on day 5 he only cut down 25 trees, and on day 10 only 8. On day 20, though he was swinging that axe faster and harder than on day 1, only 3 trees fell. Jack was confused and frustrated, as well as very tired since he was working harder than ever.
The supervisor was worried about his best worker and came to observe why Jack’s performance was so poor. The supervisor saw that the lumberjack’s axe was completely dull. So he told Jack, who was huffing and puffing and on the verge of exhaustion, that he needed to sharpen his axe. Jack fearfully blurted, “I can’t. I don’t have time…I need to cut down 30 trees today.”
So many of us are exhausted, worn out, and in need of true relaxation and refreshment. I don’t mean sleep…I mean real psychological and spiritual rest. We keep swinging hard and frequently, but our blades are dull and getting duller by the minute.
We’ve been so indoctrinated to think resting means idleness or laziness. Our insecurity and past mistakes push our need to swing furiously and often, to show that we are worthy, or to make up for our past. Jesus, who had the most to do, rested often. Resting in God has two huge benefits: first, it allows us to sharpen our axes; second, when we relax in His presence, we demonstrate trust in Him to take over and accomplish what we can’t.
Trust is such a rich word, filled with meaning and direction for our life. So many of us do the exact opposite of what God wants for us. We turn away from Him when we are exhausted because we associate God with duty and diligence. We wrongly believe that going to Him means we have to do more, instead of allowing Him to give us more.
Today, set aside 15 minutes to take a rest and specifically lean on, trust in, and be confident with God. Meditate on His power and His love for you. Relax in His presence. When you lean on Him for support and rest, He delights in your trusting confidence in Him. Your decision, rest in Him or rely on yourself, choose well.
Dear Father, I come to You depleted and worn out. I come to You, Lord, for refreshment. I know that resting in You will save me. I thank You, Father, for Your reassuring Word that You spoke through Your prophet Isaiah, telling me that coming to You in quietness and trust shall be my strength. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I may lean on Your understanding, not mine. I pray this with trust and expectation, and in the name of one who rested in You perfectly, Jesus; and all God’s children said – AMEN!
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength