Coming into Restful Relationship

Over the course of a few weeks, Lianna is taking Of Larks through a series on coming into rest in Christ. Today's post is the third in a four-part series. Follow along with the series here.

I manage my expectations when interacting with others because I believe the truth that no person can meet all of my needs or desires, in any context. So I guard myself from putting improper weight on others; I keep myself from stacking expectations.  

There is a self-control needed in human interaction—self-control that my emotions or needs are not tied to another’s such that if another person close to me is emotionally incapacitated for a moment in this imperfect world, I become unable to function well. We all give sharp responses at times, all speak too quickly, all exhibit a lack of compassion or gratitude—we all carry burdens that can keep us from fully seeing each other. But being in the Lord means that we can be on the receiving end of that and give back from fullness, especially when we never placed our expectations for fulfillment on each other and never gave each other such weight over the stability of our hearts and souls.

From human interaction, there must be a divine reprieve. Of course, this is our God. But I don’t always rest in Him because I don’t always approach Him for reprieve, though He is right there, right here. The habit of properly guarding my expectations becomes the more dominant habit, and I take it with me when I go to the Lord.

I should go to the Lord more than to others so that receiving is my dominant habit and self-control in relational expectations its fruit. But instead, I have often been stuck in the pattern of withholding expectations—even with God—and so, tired. If I ever forget to come to Him in order to receive, I have far less hope for the necessary swap to happen from tiredness to restful, God-given reprieve and fruit.

He Tends to Me

His Word gives me the needed jolt to reset. There is no give and take with God, as if He has need. It is all give, all an overflow from infinite Him. All reprieve from the world. All replenishment in my spirit. My soul is uneven and wounded—merely from living in a world too sharp, loud, and large for my tender spirit. So, I need a fullness that others don’t have for me. He tends to me.

The Psalms are full of this—full of the expectation that when we come to God, wanting His righteousness, His purity, His direction, His hope, His everything, He is near. 

“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer”
Psalm 61:1 

“O Lord, You hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear”
Psalm 10:17

“Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.”
Psalm 86:6

“Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan”
Psalm 55:2

“Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me!”
Psalm 142:6

“Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry! Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!”
Psalm 17:1

“Let my prayer come before You; Incline Your ear to my cry!”
Psalm 88:2

Finding restfulness in my days has meant giving Him access to me—to ask that the self-sufficient, self-existing, abounding God would pour into me, hear me, and saturate me with His Lordship. When this is the dominant habit, that I consistently remember throughout the day to open my heart to His care, it brings the sweet fruit of interpersonal self-control. One of the most important questions I am asking myself for restful days is—are you asking God to hear you, to tend to you, while opening the access of your being to Him?

Coming into Restful Relationship