There’s a little alarm bell in my head, and it goes off at the strangest times.
A big decision to make—ding-a-ling-a-ling!
A form I was supposed to fill out last week—ding-a-ling-a-ling!
A strained relationship—ding-a-ling-a-ling!
An overdue library book—ding-a-ling-a-ling!
It doesn’t seem to matter how big or how small the task or issue, this funky little alarm goes off all the same. Can anyone else relate?
The alarm bell has different names. Sometimes it’s Insecurity or Pride or Stress or Fear. But it’s usually feeding me the same lie, namely:
Life depends on you!
And culture reaffirms that message, doesn’t it?
Go get ‘em!
You can achieve anything if you set your mind to it!
But when I inevitably mess up or when the world’s brokenness up and slaps me in the face, the little alarm bell goes off and I’m back to trying harder, being “more on top of things,” striving with all my might to put pieces back together with glue, tape, and string.
When I try to live up to the elusive woman who “has it all together,” I end up shouldering pressure I was never meant to carry. I’m essentially agreeing that yes, life does depend on me. That I have the ability to make life go smoothly. That my efforts alone make or break things.
Now, don’t mishear me. Goals are good. Drive and passion are good. Seeking all that is lovely, peaceable, and true is not only good, but right! But . . . this kind of striving? The kind that says “It’s all up to me”? Well, it’s plain unhealthy. Why?
Because I’m limited. I get exhausted and grouchy. I get overwhelmed and forgetful. I inevitably overlook a form and forget to return that book. And I absolutely do not have the amount of control over life events that I often think (or wish!) I do.
It’s in the moments when I’m starkly confronted with my limitedness that I have a choice to make with where I go and what I do to seek out the comfort I need.
My limitedness was never meant to make me feel desperate. Rather, it’s intended to drive me to the One who is limitless.
When I rest in Christ, I’m actually freed to embrace how and why He made me. Instead of beating myself over the head with my own expectations, to-do list, or worries, I can lean into the design of the One who created me. I learn to accept:
Christ’s agency in my life
Christ’s unending strength on my behalf
Christ’s power displayed in my weakness
Life doesn’t depend on me and my ability to keep things together. Christ is “before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17).
My limitedness is ultimately for my good and God’s glory.
It’s in submitting to Christ’s headship that I can rest in His design of me, and—like my Maker—declare “It is good” over what He has done and what He will continue to do in and through me.
When I mess up and fall short, I can run to the One who was perfect on my behalf. When I grieve over the brokenness of the world and in people, I can trust in the restoration that Christ will one day bring. The burden is not on my shoulders to hold my world together.
Praise! Hallelujah! It’s Christ in me, the hope of glory!
Are you like me? Do you often bypass peace and jump to exerting more effort in order to find that elusive control? I exhort you today to find deep and lasting soul rest in the One who indeed holds all things together. Give up the weight you feel on your shoulders and hand it to the One who is all in all. He promises to do good things through you. Believe Him when He says His grace is sufficient for you, utter your Amen over the good work He has begun in You, and trust Him to see it through to completion.