I am Israel.

And I am a child, clutching close to my heart my worry; my soul becomes intimate with my fears.
And the Maker of Heaven tells me to give Him my worry, to surrender my fears.
But I can’t.
These worries have become my home, these fears have become my friends.
How do I give up that which is closest to my heart?
And the Painter of the Stars beckons me to His arms, telling me to find rest within His embrace.
What is rest?
I have not known rest for a long time.
Everyone tells me that I need it.
But what if I don’t want it?
What if I don’t want the rest of God?
Because see, He gave the Israelites rest, but first they had to wander through the desert.
And in that desert they begged for captivity again.
I am that lost and bitter Israel, dry and anxious in the desert, desiring captivity more than the promised land, the rest of God, because captivity is what I know, captivity is comfortable.
Captivity is home.
Rest is foreign.
It is a land I have never been to.
Why would I want that?
Who knows what will happen along the way?
The desert is a dangerous and forsaken place.
Captivity is home.
The Israelites often get a bad rep. We read of their exodus from Egypt, how God parted the sea, gave them bread from the sky, and how they still whined and griped and desired to go back to being slaves.
What a bunch of idiots, we think.
What shortsighted simpletons.
But how are we any different?
How many times do we ask God for the former days, the days of captivity, simply because it was home to us?
Simply because we were comfortable in our slavery?
Slavery is familiar.
Rest is not.
How shortsighted am I, that I deny the beautiful rest that the Father of Lights offers to me, and accept slavery to my worry, and captivity to my fears?
But still I cling to it, my muscles locked, my fingers tied like rope around my worry.
I need this worry in my life.
Or so I think.
See, peace is scary, rest is unknown.
To accept peace from God is to give him control over my fears, over my worries. And this one thought keeps me from giving them to him:
w h a t i f h e t a k e s t h e m a w a y f o r e v e r ?
what if.
What if he gives me complete peace from my anxiety? Does that mean I cease to care?
What if he gives me rest instead of worry? Does that mean I cease to search?
Captivity is my home.
Where will I live if I no longer am captive?
Rest, He answers softly.
To live in rest? To dwell in peace? These things make me uncomfortable- they are not home to me.
Because sometimes his plan includes pain along the way.
Sometimes the way to the promised land includes going through the desert
Sometimes entering his rest means leaving my home behind.
Sure, it may not look like much, but it’s MY home. I built it. Its foundation is made of fear, its walls are formed from worry, and its roof is built with doubt.
It may not be much, but its mine.
How can I leave it behind?
How can I enter a home that I do not call my own?
God’s house is so big, I am dwarfed by its door alone.
It scares me.
How can I find rest in such a place?
And I run back to my home, made of worry and fear, the roof of doubt caving in upon me as I pull the covers over my head and tell myself that I’ll be alright.
This is my home.
Why would I need anything else?
Why would I need rest?
I am Israel, lost and bitter in the desert, fearful and frustrated, shortsighted and simple, desiring captivity once again.
His rest seems so far off.
His rest seems so foreign.
How can I give up my home for such a thing?
I am Israel.

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