Sometimes I long to move to the absolute middle of nowhere where I don’t know a soul. I don’t understand exactly why that is.
I do realize I am an introvert. While I don’t have any trouble being with people or carrying on a conversation, I recharge by chunks of time alone. I truly enjoy being by myself in quiet with no schedule. So maybe that’s why I sometimes long for the middle of nowhere.
On the other hand, I love my friends. I enjoy the familiarity that comes with living in the same town for nearly 14 years. We have a phenomenal church! And Josh has two amazing jobs. The home school co-op we belong to is also a huge blessing. I know our librarian, the checkout person at Publix is usually someone I see regularly, and I live less than a mile from WalMart and have a Target at each end of the main road I live off of—not to mention three Starbucks within a five mile radius of home. We know and like all of our neighbors. We like our home…I don’t even daydream about a kitchen remodel anymore. I just want the thing paid off!
So why the restlessness? Why is it when I see acres and acres of empty land do I paint a picture of a house and envision my family living there?
There are definitely responsibilities and even callings I attempt to run away from which bring on restlessness. There is a craving in me for simplicity. And I think if I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t have as many responsibilities, then my life would be really simple. Haha! And sad, but still.
In a recent season of restlessness I was in the car alone with Josh. I asked him, “So what do you think I should do with my restlessness? What do you think it means?”
He didn’t really give an answer. What he did say was simply a recap from the last time I came to him with my restlessness. If the restlessness pushes you into Jesus, it’s a good thing. We talked a little about it and moved on to something else.
The next morning I woke up and went downstairs to read my Bible. Lying in bed just before that, I prayed that The Lord would speak to me and told Him I could really use a word from Him this morning.
I got comfy on the couch with my Bible and my coffee. I checked my reading plan and saw that Psalm 55 was where I should turn. It didn’t take long to really wake me up.
Verse 2 says, “I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted,”
Verse 4 goes on to say, “My heart is in anguish within me….”
Yep. I know that feeling.
And then there were verses 6-8, “Oh that I had wings like a dove! Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness; I would hasten to my place of refuge from the stormy wind and tempest.”
Someone was listening in on my conversation with Josh.
The reality is that most of us feel this way from time to time. A hard marriage can make us want to run away. A difficult child can make us long for peace and quiet. Seeing so many others being used in exciting ways while you do laundry and dishes can make you wish you didn’t even know anybody to compare your boring life to! A demanding schedule with no end in sight can encourage us to daydream about a simple, even boring, life.
So, what to do? In Psalm 55 the writer has been betrayed by a close friend and wants to fly away to the middle of nowhere. Hurt can make us want to flee, to long for a change of scenery.
Verse 16 gives an answer, “As for me, I shall call upon God, and the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will complain and murmur, and He will hear my voice. He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me.”
It didn’t say He would move me or that He would immediately change my circumstances. It says He hears my voice. That is comforting and encouraging to this needy stay at home wife and homeschool mama.
Verse 22 gives more answers to the restless soul: “Cast your burden (what He has given you) upon the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”
Maybe, just maybe, God has given me restlessness—the very thing I think needs “solving” or to be gotten rid of—not to necessarily physically move me, but to spiritually move me closer to Him.
G Campbell Morgan, whom I quote so often, had this to say about verse 22:
“To cast the burden on Jehovah is not to be rid of it, but to find One Who carries, sustains the burden-bearer, and so the burden also, in a fellowship of love and might.”
Maybe you are in a state of restlessness. There’s a plethora of reasons why you may be feeling this way. But have you considered that God has given you restlessness to drive you closer to Him? To strengthen your fellowship with The One who loves you so much?
Cast your burden upon The Lord. He will sustain you. Or like The Message version puts it, “Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders. He’ll carry your load, He’ll help you out.”