Forced rest stinks, especially when it is a long-term part of your life. It’s like telling waves to stop rolling or the wind to stop blowing. And it feels like a big step backwards—especially when everyone else is getting their business done.
That’s one of the most frustrating parts of illness, isn’t it? You have to stop life and what you’re doing right in the middle of everyone else around you living their lives. False guilt can pile up on your soul for not being productive.
God made every life for a purpose. It’s just hard when it seems like your purpose is to struggle and to do it well. It’s not very fulfilling.
Today, I longed to do something fruitful with my life. But it was all I could do to ride out a pounding headache and debilitating fatigue.
It’s at these times that I begin comparing my resume to others. How am I stacking up? Not very well by many standards. I ask “God, is this really what you want for my life?”
But I know that if God appoints acute suffering for a season, it’s for a very redemptive purpose. The lives of Job, Joseph, and Jesus display redemption and bitter-sweet providences that accomplish sweet outcomes.
So at the end of the day, we trust God. This is perhaps the greatest legacy of our lives…loving God and loving others in spite of our illness and more deeply because of illness. That would be a wonderful legacy. Not an easy one, but a worthy one.
If forced rest is your calling today, do it well! Your rest and suffering are not empty—they’re deeply meaningful if you are putting your hope in God.
The greatest purpose your life could ever have comes by surrendering to God’s mysteriously wise plans and finding your joy in Him.
Here are some anchors of hope for the resting and trusting days…
- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverb 3:5
- “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today.” –Exodus 14:13
- “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” – Isaiah 64:4
- “God knows what He’s doing with your losses. Trust Him.” – John Piper