I recently watched a film called “Where the Crawdads sing”. Now, the film is based on a 2018 coming-of-age murder mystery novel by Delia Owens. It details the life of a young woman and her subsequent struggles of isolation and prejudice towards her in her community, and her strive against abusive romantic partners later on in life.
However, what struck me in the movie was the abuse that her mother, her siblings, and the young girl herself endured at the hands of her father. The abuse so severe, triggered in the protagonist a “fight or flight” survival mode to merely survive. This was exasperated when at last her mother, her siblings, and eventually her father abandoned her to live alone. One would say from the beginning of her young life that she could never enter rest due to constantly being in survival mode. There was simply no one else to depend on to assist her or care for her.
This had me thinking about my relationship with God. How often do I live as if I have been abandoned, to solve all of the problems of this life in my own strength? Because, truth be told, in many instances I still operate as if the problems and issues I am facing are mine alone to bear. I try and work out contingency plans ad nauseum, because I think it all depends on me. And in the process I forget that I have a dad in Heaven who is readily available, almighty to assist me and lift me up out of any pit!
Is this resonating with you today?
In Hebrews 4:2 the Holy Spirit shares through the writer:“For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.”(NIV)
What is the writer of Hebrews trying to communicate?
In the context of Hebrews 4:2 the writer is addressing a topic of entering into God’s rest. The writer, led by the Spirit, warns the now Christian Hebrews, scattered throughout the world at this stage, of how their ancestors (the Israelites who were liberated from Egypt) in the wilderness never entered God’s rest because of a lack of Faith.
One commentator writes: “The writer draws the comparison between the exodus generation and the church, that both have received the divine proclamation of good news. Israel liberated from Egypt and believers in Jesus now liberated, through His perfect sinless life, all sufficient atoning sacrificial death and victorious resurrection and ascension. Both revelations given with a call to Faith. Faith in the God who delivered both parties to be faithful to His promises.”
Now to give further clarity, a Biblical grasp of what faith means would greatly add value here.
Hebrews 11:1 states,“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
So, Faith is having confidence that despite how desperate a situation or circumstance might appear, that God is able to keep His promises to us.
In the day and age we live in, faith becomes hard, doesn’t it?
It becomes harder to see how we will survive with inflation rising every day. It becomes harder to have faith when relationships are falling apart. When families are separated due to death or friction within a family, it’s tough isn’t it?
How often in those moments do we feel abandoned and then take it on ourselves to salvage situations and to rectify the wrongs in our lives? Now, I am not advocating that we should do nothing. However, we should not work to the point of absolute mental and physical exhaustion. We do not have to.
We can, by our Father’s grace, enter into His rest.
Now, what do I mean by saying that?
Entering into His rest, means taking Him at His word. In the word, Jesus said in Matthew 28:20, that He is with us always, even to the end of the age. Meaning that we can rest in the fact that we face nothing in this life alone. Beloved, we don’t have to fear because, again as Jesus says in Luke 12:7 that the very hairs of our heads are numbered by God. Or, in my case the lack thereof.😊
What is the point I am trying to make? That despite how life might be treating you today, despite the way you might be feeling – please do not think your life depends on you to salvage things. Don’t place yourself in a tailspin to sort it out. As any good Father, He takes responsibility for us.
Instead, why not trust in your Father in Heaven and enter into His rest knowing that He makes all things work out for the good of those who love Him. “All Things” being the good, the bad and the ugly of life.
Perhaps today you feel He has forgotten you. I encourage you today. He didn’t only give His words. He gave you His life. Look to the cross to see how deeply He loves you and will not give up on you. See, He would not have done that if He wasn’t going to be there forever for you.
Beloved, we all have areas in our lives where we battle to enter into our Father’s rest. We, in various areas are just like the young protagonist in “Where the Crawdads Sing”, still in survival mode.
But I encourage you today. You don’t have to live there. You have a Father in Heaven who loves you to the point of offering up heaven’s treasure, Jesus, to purchase you for Himself.
Take Him at His word. Rest in His promises.
Search His perfect inerrant word for His promises pertaining to your current struggle. And then, as you find the treasure of His promise in the word, rest in that.
Speak to Him today. Engage with Him. He waits for you.
Jesus said in John 6:37,“All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”(NIV)
Go to Him today, then rest in Him and His word and power to save. You are not alone.
Love in Jesus always,