I spent part of Tuesday evening discussing Hebrews 4, which I found, and still find, particularly hard to understand. It's like--no matter how many times I read the chapter (and regardless of which translation of the Bible I use) or how many commentaries I read on it--something isn't quite clicking. I realize that my being exhausted contributes to the problem. The irony in this is that Hebrews 4 is to a large extent on the subject of rest: God's resting on the seventh day, the rest of sabbath, the lost opportunity to rest for those under Joshua's leadership, the possibility of rest at the end of our lives, and maybe? rest in a peaceful state even as we journey through life.
On Wednesday, both of the babies fell asleep (a miracle in and of itself), and I was in the bathroom leafing through the September 2010 issue of O (Go ahead and laugh if you must!) when I came across "Lying Low," which caught my attention because, in it, Martha Beck says a great deal about--you guessed it!--rest! Granted, she doesn't have the authoritative voice of Paul or whoever actually wrote Hebrews, but she's a whole lot easier to understand, and she has some pretty good points. I particularly like it when she writes: "If nothing's working for you, if you feel as though you're pushing forward against the grain, the most productive and proactive thing you can do is nothing. Nature is turning you inward, to gain power through peace, rather than outward to gain power through activity."
I finished the article, left the bathroom, and decided that--even though I felt like He had been trying to impart something for a couple of days--God wasn't making much sense to me. So I decided to listen to Martha Beck, and I curled up under a fleece blanket on my couch and slept, hard, for thirty minutes until the phone rang and Clementine started yelling, from upstairs: "Mom! Down! Diapers! Mom! Milk!"
The interesting thing is that--after my power nap--I had kind of a cathartic moment related to some of the mess that's been in my head (more on that, later) and what to do about it (more on that, later, too). It was almost as though--after days of hearing His voice as if it were only slightly clearer than that of an adult character in a Peanuts movie (mwah mwah mwah)--I could comprehend at least part of what God was trying to say.
Yesterday (Thursday) I felt a little better than I did on Wednesday, which was a little better than I felt on Tuesday and quite a bit better than I felt on Monday: less like everyone hates me. I have the plan that God gave me, and, yesterday, I began to execute it. It pertains to other people. Oh, and yesterday my Word for the Day (gratefulness.org) was from Mother Teresa: "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." That feels like a piece of my puzzle.
I don't know if I can make it all come together in words the way it has on the inside, in a more wordless way. As an aside--when I grasp truth from God--it feels in my heart the same way the piece of plastic (containing the x-ray film) used to feel in my mouth when I bit down on it during a trip to the dentist: substantial, basic but complex, discerning and informative. Anyway, it goes something like this: rest is the goal. It is in various states of rest that we experience peace, receive direction from God in how to serve others (and the serving brings its own peace to our lives), recharge, and experience God's mercy. Hebrews 4 reminds us that our Mediator is no stranger to our struggles and is therefore able to help us with perfect empathy.
And so I come back to this: I am not alone. God loves me. He has a plan for my life and will not allow me to become lost, friendless, in a dark pocket of my brain.