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You have permission to rest

By: sharie king

“‘Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him’” (Genesis 18:18-19).

The Unforgettable Weekend

I’d driven six hours home from college for my Labor Day weekend. I was ready for a break, but I knew something was up when I saw scaffolding, paint cans, tarps, a generator, and a street light parked in our driveway.

My mom was in and out of marriages when I was young. Being the oldest, I became acutely aware of how hard it was for her to take care of two children on her own. She worked a job and a half to send us to school, and spent spring break laboring over taxes while my brother and I lived it up at the pool. It was not only hard for me to see her always working but also disheartening to miss out on her companionship. It became my goal to alleviate stress in whatever way I could.

Looking back, I think I may have developed an overzealous sense of responsibility. When I pulled in the driveway that day, I knew a project was waiting for me. It was time to paint the outside siding and we only had two days to do it. So, my mom, brother and I stayed up till 3am hanging from a two-story scaffolding with paint brushes in our hands.

A normal person might wonder, “How in the world did you paint in the dark?” Well you see, my step-dad was determined to get the job done while I was in town. So he rented a generator and a set of street-lights so there would be no excuse to leave the job unfinished.

You may also wonder, “Did the neighbors complain about the bright night lights and the noise of the generator?” Why yes! But you see, our obligation to get the job done was greater than our sense of rationale.

It's Not About Doing

I was reading about when God told Abraham he was going to have more children than the stars of the sky. If God had come to me years ago to reveal this kind of plan, I would have probably gone into cardiac arrest just formulating a to-do list.

But God has been teaching me it’s not always about doing. His calling on my life doesn’t translate into a list of work projects. That’s not to say there won’t be hard work along the way, but God’s more interested in us walking with Him than working for Him.

God is more interested in us walking with Him than working for Him.

This is why Genesis 18:19 says, “the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” God told Abraham what was to come, but he didn’t expect Abraham to make it happen. God was the one who was going to “bring it about” because He is the one who initiated the plan.

If you sometimes feel yourself switching into overdrive like me, I hope you’ll see this verse gives you permission to rest and wait. When you have a big dream, or one which makes you feel incapable, know that this calling is not yours alone. If God set you on a course, it is His responsibility bring about what He promised.

So where do we go from here?

A Prayer

Father, I know You have a special purpose for us all. Help us to remember that with every hope or dream You have the capacity to fulfill them. Teach us to rest in You.

A Practical Next Step

Think about what drives you, fear of failure, an unhealthy sense of responsibility, success, etc. Are you a person who is able to relax, rest, have fun, or leave something undone? Remember, Jesus doesn’t expect something from you; He wants to give life to you.

A Verse to Remember

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

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