When in doubt: try, try to rest

“Later, knowing that all was not completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (John 19:28-30)

It is finished.

I’m an overthinker, overachiever, obsessor. I have long lists of standards by which I judge myself and my performance. I spend a disproportionate amount of time trying–trying to be a better person, trying to do a better job, trying to be the person that God wants me to be.

It is finished.

Whatever I’m trying to accomplish, it’s a noble effort. I’m sure God loves that I try so hard. I don’t take my life on this earth lightly, and I like to think that shows Him great respect for the opportunity I have. But at the end of the day:

It is finished.

There is no doing what was already done for me. Even my efforts make light of the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice, an atonement I would never be fit to make, not even with all the trying in the world. Instead, Jesus has offered His life for mine, His effort in place of mine. He gives me–just one of the many women I know who are working so very hard–the ultimate gift, not just Himself but the freedom His sacrifice brings: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Weary and burdened–why yes, that sounds familiar. All that trying takes it out of you.

It is finished

I will give you rest.

Is it really so much for me to accept the simplicity of it–that it’s finished, that I can rest? Is there really anything in this world more beautiful than those words? Praise Jesus for doing what I could never do, and for giving me a gift that I struggle to accept just because it sounds all too easy. It is finished, whether I rest or not. Lord, help me to choose to rest.

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