After a little over 2 weeks of resting my broken bones, I’m going back to work. Truthfully, I believe this time has been good for me in ways I didn’t know I needed. Sometimes the healthiest thing a caregiver can do is let themselves be cared for. Unfortunately, it usually takes something a little catastrophic before we will allow that to happen.
Self-care is a big concept in mental health. It’s how we avoid burnout, and it’s useful for reducing anxiety and depression. We all know that, but many of us, especially women, have a difficult time penciling ourselves into our own schedule. Next thing you know, we are cranky and unable to enjoy all that God has given us. I ought to know because that’s where I was at.
As big a concept as rest is in mental health, it’s of paramount importance to God. Continually throughout the Bible, He implores us to rest in His provision and love. But one verse always puzzled me. It’s in Hebrews, and it says we must “labor to enter into rest.” I think I’m beginning to understand that a little better.
Since I broke my leg, I have had to get comfortable allowing others to take care of me. Friends brought meals, Mom came over and pitched in, and my husband had to do all the chores plus be a whole lot more. Including getting me in and out of bed, propping my leg up, and helping me in the bathroom. It has all been very humbling.
It also had me praying I wasn’t too much of a burden and thinking what I should do for them in return. I have found it extremely difficult to just relax into their love without being able to repay them. There’s this thing inside us humans that wants to earn love and repay kindness. We carry that mindset into our relationship with Jesus. It’s preposterous when you think about it because we know the gift of salvation can never be bartered for, but something inside us yearns to feel we are offering something of value to God.
I had a moment of clarity last week. I was sitting in the shower, too weak to wash, so I was just letting the warm water cleanse me as it cascaded over my body. Truthfully, I felt pasty, pudgy, and ashamed of my weakness. Suddenly, I also felt very, very valued and loved by God. I could sense His presence there, reassuring me my value is not based on what I can do; it’s based on what Christ did.
My accomplishments and strengths have never been why He called me. It’s not why He’s called you. He wants us to rest in His Son’s accomplishments and strength and let His Son’s blood do the work of washing away our sins and failures. All we have to do is sit and receive. There’s nothing we can add to an offer like that.
So, now we know, the labor involved in the rest God offers is the labor to believe we are valuable outside our accomplishments. We are valuable because the Creator gets to define and decide what His creation is worth. He says you are worth dying for, and He loves you, even if you aren’t ever able to do a darn thing for Him in return. Go rest in His love.