By Pieter Messelink
2014 was the hardest and darkest year in my life. Christmas 2013 I was diagnosed with burn- out. I had to stop work completely. This was incredibly difficult. I was so used to being busy, to have my head filled with stuff, to carrying on. I have always done so much in my own strength, relying on my own insight. But this proved unsustainable.
People around me challenged me to rest. The Holy Spirit confirmed this. The passage from Isaiah 30:15 has become very important to me: The holy Lord God of Israel had told all of you, “I will keep you safe if you turn back to me and calm down. I will make you strong if you quietly trust me.” —– Then you stubbornly said, “No! We will safely escape on speedy horses.”
I have learned so much during the past year as I tried to discover the roots of my unrest. As I came to the place of surrender, refusing the escape on speedy horses, I realised in a new way that God is there. After all, His name is Immanuel (God is with us, Jesus came to live among us). I know that I do not need to worry about tomorrow’s problems as there is a Heavenly Father who takes care of my life. I had thought that the Christian life was about being active, working hard and bearing fruit. I have learned that I can only bear fruit from a place of rest. In rest, God directs. In my busy life my challenge was to start living healthy rhythms of resting and working.
But it is not about resting from work. It is the other way round. It is about working from rest. I can only work effectively from a firm foundation of rest. This has released me and strengthened my relationship with my wife and children.
I am back to working full-time. As I practice working from rest, it seems I am actually bearing more fruit than before.
- How will you establish a firm foundation of rest?
- What challenges do you invite God in, to accompany you through this week?