Updated on November 23, 2014
On the antithetical as the obvious answer…
My quest to give up worry for Lent began its crash dive last week. In a particular situation, I set aside the compulsion to worry and instead trusted. Trusted that I would be prepared, trusted that I would be relaxed, and trusted that if the situation was to result in the ending that I desired, it would come about. I trusted.
And then I didn’t anymore. When pieces of information emerged, I became discouraged. And for me, discouragement lives as the wide open door to welcoming worry to the party. In the timing of things, I sit, still not knowing the result of the situation. I wait for the phone to ring. I have done all that I can do. There is, quite literally, nothing I can do about it besides pray.
I like action. I like moving. I like executing a plan and seeing the work move something forward. And in this week where my trust has taken a break, where discouragement sets out an appetizer platter and open bar for worry to kick up its heels, I struggled. And I mean stttrrruuugggllleeeedddd.
As I emerge from that struggle and re-embrace the trust of earlier days, I realize something incredibly antithetical to the human way of thinking about this process of trust. Here is the key to trust:
I need more sleep.
In the days where I trusted, I slept 9 hours a night. Rested and refreshed, I was much more able to identify the early signs of worry and beat it back with a stick. I had the energy to keep my heart and mind scanning for weakness, and perseverance to pray up that weakness into strength and protection. When I stopped sleeping well, I stopped trusting well.
John Ortberg, in his book “Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them,” writes that the key to him being able to love people more was to get more rest. A paraphrased quote that I particularly enjoy is that sometimes the most godly thing you can do is take a nap.
Right?!? How can we trust Him, something we do not naturally do or else He wouldn’t command it so often, if we don’t have energy to do it? How can we battle the temptations of the day if we are dragging through the day? In committing to following Jesus more closely, I must admit what has become obvious: I must rest.