Resting in the Finished Work of the Cross

If you’ve been following my blog, you will remember this story, but in being reminded of it again, I felt God nudge me to look at it again and to ask Him to show me what He wants me to learn from it. Will you join me in asking God too and sharing with me/us what He is showing you?

The night before Coco got run over God took me to the story of Ruth and Boaz. He asked me to look at the Redeemer’s delight in having Ruth lie at his feet in complete trust and surrender. And amazingly at that moment, Coco came up and stretched out his whole body at my feet. I took a photo of it to never forget the moment:

I felt my heart swell with such affection and delight in him doing that and then God said to me: “And Anna, that’s how I feel when you do that for me.” I was like “wow”! I had never looked at it the other way around. But I saw how true it was: as my heart just melted as Coco did that in such sweet surrender and trust of my love for him. Little did I know how timely this gift was, not just for me, but also for our two daughters, who would grieve deeply with us in the days to come.

What I notice in the story of Ruth and Boaz is that Boaz is himself resting on the threshing floor, when Ruth joins him at his feet. Ruth lays herself at his feet – but Boaz is lying down also: resting from his labor. I believe God’s inviting us to rest WITH Him.

I also notice that when Boaz awakes, he makes sure no one knew Ruth had been resting with him, and so he gives her a whole supply of barley to take home with her to her mother-in-law. God’s inviting us to receive a harvest of righteousness in doing absolutely nothing and in risking our reputation in doing so, by choosing to fall asleep with Him on the threshing (harvesting) floor, and being viewed as being improper for doing so, when we are in fact being obedient to His calling on our life in doing so.

I also notice that this act of Ruth resting at his feet was in effect a marriage proposal, as Ruth made her intentions clear to Boaz. She was seeking his protection, his care and his restitution, not just as a widow but also as a foreigner, who was excluded from the favor of God because of her forefathers’ (the Moabites) sin. She was actively seeking not just her own, but her tribe’s full redemption.

Her bold and courageous act was received with God’s incredible favor not just for her personally, but also for the generations to come: from the rebellious lineage of the Moabites would come the restored and redeemed lineage of King David and then even the Messiah Himself. God’s inviting us to seek His favor and full redemption – not just for ourselves, but for our whole family (the Body of Christ), including the generations to come, in our simple obedience to and trust in His unusual and risk-it-all call.

And now it all makes sense to me, why as I was biking, with a precious friend of mine, as the sun set upon us, the song “trust and obey” began rising in my heart:

It’s funny, because in being reminded of this I now understand why God had me re-read an post I wrote years ago. It was focused on slowing to be present in the moment. But what I saw is that God has been answering my heart’s cry in an unusual and unexpected way, for, I have indeed been becoming more and more present to my own family too.

How has He gone about it? He has taken away my (reliance upon) human Marthas, one by one, and upon my ability to offer myself as a Martha to others also, to lean me into His restful heart and arms. He has been showing me that it has never been others who have carried me or me who has carried others through life’s trials – it has always been Christ (in us) all along. And He is teaching me to lean into His power to save me and others – by laying myself down at His feet just as Mary did. He keeps reminding me, when my accuser comes calling, that I have chosen Him, my true share and portion – Jesus – in His leading and prompting, and that no one can ever take His Presence and His Word to me away from me.

It is here, in my struggles and imperfections, just like my beloved Mum, I am learning to trust and obey: to lie down, when I think there’s still work to do, but Jesus calls me to rest instead WITH Him in His finished work of the Cross.

I am learning to lay down my reputation and my striving, to pick up Christ’s Name and authority in prayer – as all I do is wait with Jesus and heed His Word to me, until He tells me it’s time to get up and to take ahold of the harvest He has already gathered FOR me, to bring it to the faithful servant, who has sent me out and has been waiting for the great wedding feast.

Did you know that this post came to me, after my dear friend, Bettie prayed for God to “bless all [my] words”? Suddenly, as I looked up the meaning of the Hebrew Word “to bless” I was led to one insight after another. And as I emailed Bettie to thank her for being Christ’s intercession in her resting with Jesus (through multiple chronc illnesses), she sent me this prayer that touched me so deeply (after a really tough night and morning with my own chronic heart condition) and so, I so long to share it with you all here too. Come, let us pray together:

Lord Jesus, Your strong shoulders carry me, Your arm is not too short to save, and You hold all my true treasures in Your Heavenly home in that place PREPARED before for us.  Help me Jesus to trust You more, that as more of my strength is depleted here, more of Your strength is multiplied there, where I am seated with You in Heavenly places. Oh to see Your living water flow, Your fruit multiplied in our lives. Thank You Jesus for the gift of Your Body here.  Thank You for speaking grace today. Amen.

And may this song that carried me out of bed into a new day, with God’s breath and strength and comfort filling my oxygen-deprived and hurting heart, carry you into and through your day too:

And may this verse that met me in my new planner today, encourage you also that God does indeed “hear [our] voice”. I opened my planner to find it waiting for me moments after Jesus did indeed answer my cries in the morning as “I lay[ed] my requests before [Him] and wait[ed] patiently” in the patience and trust HE filled me with:

In the morning,(A) Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly.(B)

Psalm 5:3 NIV

Praise You, beautiful Jesus!

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