There’s a horrible disease that’s silently destroying lots of people. It’s usually hidden and very subtle. It can go undiagnosed and unaddressed for years, and in many cases, for a life time. It wrecks lives, marriages and friendships. It hinders personal effectiveness and restricts personal potential. It steals a person’s peace and joy. It relentlessly drives folks to bad decisions, wrong relationships and misguided actions. It often masquerades as something positive and good, although it really is deadly.
I am referring to a spirit of restlessness.
If you have experienced restlessness you know it’s a terrible condition. It’s the inability to find rest. It’s the lack of settledness in one’s soul. It keeps us agitated on the inside. It denies people the benefits and pleasures of their present moments and opportunities.
Restlessness comes in many forms:
- Physical restlessness causes us to suffer sleepless nights. Our mind and body deny us the sleep we desperately want and need.
- Relational restlessness sabotages our relationships. It keeps us from long-term commitments. Driven by relational restlessness, people float around from place to place and person to person searching for something that doesn’t exist. Controlled by unrealistic relationship expectations, no person or place satisfies them.
- Personal restlessness is another expression of this disease. It’s an uneasiness with one’s self. It’s like an ever-present, low-grade spiritual and emotional fever. It keeps us frustrated with ourselves and our lot in life. Nothing makes us happy for very long. We try to cure it with activities, purchases, people and achievements, all to no avail. Restless folks are troubled, driven people.
The solution for restlessness is rest. To rest is to settle down with a contented, peaceful attitude. Rested people are relaxed. They appreciate what they have, where they are and the opportunities around them. Their rest is not a cover for complacency but based in a commitment to live each day with trust in God, expressing gratitude for present blessings, and seeking to do their best with what they have been given.
This kind of rest doesn’t happen automatically. It is something only God can give us, but experiencing it requires a concerted effort on our part. We must wrestle with restlessness until it no longer has a grip on us.
The Bible reminds us of the importance or wrestling restlessness and pursuing the blessing of God’s rest:
“Let us. therefore, make every effort to enter that rest … ” — Hebrews 4:11 (NIV)
Are you suffering from the disease of restlessness? There’s a solution. Jesus is the source of rest. He knows how to bring rest to the restless, discontented soul. Jesus said:
“Come to me … and I will give you rest.” — Matthew 11:28 (NLT)
Don’t let restlessness ruin your life. Go to Jesus for rest. Decide to wrestle the restlessness in your soul. Make every effort to enter into God’s rest. Choose to settle into the love and will of God!