I remember the summer decades ago when I had no energy–at all! None!
I had a deadline for a book and forced myself to continue writing. But eventually I was completely drained and diagnosed with mononucleosis. When I asked the doctor how long it would last, he explained it was different for everyone. For me, it ended up being nine months of a very slow healing. At first, I couldn’t get out of bed. Over the months, my energy slowing increased.
It was a long season during which God taught me a lot.
Including evaluating my basic thought; “I can’t do anything. I can’t accomplish anything. What good am I?”
“Lord, you know how much I enjoy getting things done. I hate to say it, but I base a lot of my self-image and identity on what I do. How can I handle this?”
Over those “useless” months, I learned all my work, ministry, and accomplishments did not define my worth and value or what was most important. TWEET THAT!!!!
The Apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 3:8 became more real to me than ever before:
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”
The word “count” Paul uses is the idea of “evaluate or assess.” Paul evaluated everything he had before Christ and everything he gained through knowing Christ, and he could say without a doubt that the present knowledge of Christ was far superior.
I look back on that season of “being still and knowing God”, even though it was so long ago, as a precious experience of increasing my intimacy with God through silence and inactivity.
Since then I’ve been challenged in other ways to let go of accomplishment and busyness as my value and worth, including a five year sabbatical from ministry.
I still am tempted to “worship” what I produce, but little by little I continue to learn to rest in God’s value of me because of who I am in Christ (Ephesians 1). I can relax and “count” knowing Jesus as my primary joy and blessing.