Rest in God’s love: ‘Find balance in His presence’

Samuel Guerra studies in the McKee Library. Friday, October 29, 2021. (Photo illustration by: Nicole Sabot)
Samuel Guerra studies in the McKee Library. Friday, October 29, 2021. (Photo illustration by: Nicole Sabot)

Editor’s Note: Corrections and Clarification

It has recently come to our attention that some religion articles published in the Southern Accent during the past few weeks contained fictional anecdotal information. The events described in “The Spirit: ‘An inner force that prompts us to share,’” published in Issue 1, “How’s your Christianity: As advertised or out of stock?” published in Issue 3, and “Jesus Christ: The merchant of the Milky Way,” published in Issue 6, were not true. The articles from Issue 1 and Issue 3 have been removed from the Accent’s website and social media platforms, and a clarification note has been added online to the article that was published in Issue 6. We apologize for any confusion they may have caused. Moving forward, opinion pieces containing hypothetical illustrations will be made explicitly clear. 

Written by: Sarah Klingbeil

I pinned a pink index card above my desk my freshman year of college. For two years, it was a constant reminder and a silent witness for why I’m here. 

It wasn’t revolutionary, fancy or complicated. My handwriting was rushed on the index card, but the black ink spelled out a treasure. It was more than a reminder. It was a road map, motivation, and highlighted my purpose. I’ll share it with you.

“Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep. ” (Psalm 127:1,2 NKJV)

Read it one more time. What is this verse really saying? And why was it so important for me?

Here’s the bottom line. It’s all useless! Yup, you heard me right! This verse reminds me that everything I strive for and all the sacrifices I make are ultimately useless. My GPA, late nights, hundreds of projects, meticulous planning, the pursuit of happiness, reckless wandering, passion, fulfillment, medals, awards, etc. equal nothing.

Sometimes I feel like a distressed swimmer using every bit of energy to swim to shore, but the rip tide pulls me only further out to the sea.

Sounds depressing, right? Wasn’t this supposed to be a motivational road map and reminder? How is that encouraging? 

Because it’s conditional! Didn’t you notice all the “unless the LORD” phrases? It’s God who’s building the house. It’s God who protects you. It’s God who gives you life. It’s God who brought you here. So, stop trying to build your own safety nets. If he brought you to the Red Sea, He’ll bring you through it.

Stop trying to swim against the rip current. Stop trying to follow your own dreams. Let the Lifeguard of your soul swim you to shore. He promised that His thoughts are higher than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8, 9), and He desires to give you “a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Rest in God’s love. Find balance in His presence. Go to bed early, take that jog, enjoy the leaves falling, the warm sunlight on your face and the birds singing. I love how missionary martyr Jim Elliott summed it up, “Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be in the will of God.”

When I moved to Southern Village, I lost that index card, but it was more than the card. I need that reminder again. With graduation looming closer, hard classes and constant exhaustion, I’ve forgotten.

So, I’m reaching into my desk drawer and pulling out a yellow index card. My handwriting is a little rushed as I copy the familiar verse.

It isn’t revolutionary, fancy or complicated, but somehow I want it to remind me to breathe, to live, to lean and to rest in my Father’s love. I need this for today, this semester and my life.

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