I was sending a private note of encouragement to a friend who felt as though their life was stuck. They did not see themselves moving forward in any meaningful direction. My friend felt empty and without emotion.
As I was finishing up my note of encouragement, I was going to add a final word that said in essence, “just take the next step.” As I was getting ready to type, the Lord told me not to include those words in my note. At that moment, I realized that peace and contentment in my friend’s life, and anyone’s life, is not discovered when we take “the next step.” What has produced emotional and spiritual fatigue is many good people and brought their life to an exhausted standstill is the demand to always be doing something for God that is measurable. The result of this way of thinking is the creation of a history of repeated depletions, both spiritually and emotionally, that if not challenged will cause a person to give up. We are not strong enough to live this way.
In some cases, the need for constant productivity has been part of our problem. We seem to think knowing the next step and having that as the primary evidence of our value and significance will somehow clear away our spiritual malaise. It won’t. What is needed most in these times is the discovery of a rest that only comes when we realize the presence of God, not a never-ending life of productivity and external validation, is what brings us true rest and a resulting peace. In rest is where revelation is discovered. If there is to be a “next step,” it will only be found in a place of rest.