Permission to Rest Granted

Psalm 103:13-14 (New International Version)

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.

I have always marveled at a newborn's ability to block everything out around him or her when sleep is necessary. I carried my oldest child in a sling much of his first year of life. If I needed to vacuum or wash dishes, I would tuck him into the cloth wrapped around my shoulder. He was soon lulled to sleep as his tired, warm body would lean into mine. I could get so many necessary tasks accomplished around the house this way. He never liked his crib, but would soon surrender to the need for a nap in the sling, close to his mama.

How I have longed for the ability to surrender these last few weeks as my son used to on my shoulder. I have mentioned Streams in the Desert by Mrs. L.B. Cowman before. I must share this passage from her devotional book with you because it lifted a huge burden from me after I read it. It is from her December 23rd entry:

I'm too tired to trust and too tired to pray,
Said I, as my overtaxed strength gave way.
The one conscious thought that my mind possessed,
Is, oh, could I just drop it all and rest.

Will God forgive me, do you suppose,
If I go right to sleep as a baby goes,
Without questioning if I may,
Without even trying to trust and pray?

Will God forgive you? Think back, dear heart,
When language to you was an unknown art,
Did your mother deny you needed rest,
Or refuse to pillow your head on her breast?

Did she let you want when you could not ask?
Did she give her child an unequaled task?
Or did she cradle you in her arms,
And then guard your slumber against alarms?

Oh, how quickly a mother's love can see,
The unconscious yearnings of infancy.
When you've grown too tired to trust and pray,
When overworked nature has quite given way:

Then just drop it all, and give up to rest,
As you used to do on mother's breast,
He knows all about it-the dear Lord knows,
So just go to sleep as a baby goes;

Without even asking if you may,
God knows when His child is too tired to pray.
He judges not solely by uttered prayer,
He knows when the yearnings of love are there.

He knows you do pray, He knows you do trust,
And He knows, too, the limits of poor, weak dust.
Oh, the wonderful sympathy of Christ,
For His chosen ones in that midnight tryst,

When He told them, "Sleep and take your rest,"
While on Him the guilt of the whole world pressed-
You have trusted your life to Him to keep,
Then don't be afraid to go right to sleep.

--Ella Conrad Cowherd

I need to release the burden of carrying what is too heavy for me and, like my small son did on me, rest on the Person of Jesus Christ. I am sure that He will be able to accomplish far more as I still my soul before Him and know that He is God.

Jesus, I praise You that you see us when we have become so weary we can't even pray, though our hearts have that desire. You are compassionate, slow to become angry, and abounding in love. It is okay to refresh my weary soul in You when the journey gets to be too much to bear. Like a weaned child with his mother, may my soul be at rest with You, not concerning myself with those things I cannot figure out. Like the apostle John, the disciple who knew that You loved him, may I lean myself against You and find that You are enough in my weakness.