Torn Edges

Every one of my calculated tallies of how things were going to go slowly unravelled one afternoon a few weeks ago. ‘You’re head cold has developed into a lung infection’ the doctor said, after listening to my shallow breathing and relentless coughing through his stethoscope. ‘You must have complete rest for the next few days, possibly a week, so your body can recover.’ His measured words, as he filled out two prescriptions for all the medication I would need, didn’t quite match up with my busy schedule. Even though I looked, sounded, and felt awful, I left the doctor’s office gathering up the torn edges of my best-laid plans, realising I had to adjust and surrender to the fact that I would have to rest (and I mean rest) so I could fully recover. 

I don’t know about you, but rest never comes easy for me. I write and speak about abiding in God, resting in His goodness, but to be honest, self-reliance can so easily creep into my thinking and become a security blanket that wraps itself around my mind, reminding me that the peace and rest required for my wearied soul can only come when I’ve ticked off everything on my to-do list.  

However, the end of all the strings attached to this kind of warped thought pattern start to fray and unravel like balls of wool if we’re not careful, and we’re left with torn edges of a fatigued, dog-tired soul that could do with a week’s worth of good shut-eye. 

Nana naps aside, I read this quote from Sheila Walsh, ‘There is healing in the will of God, a pulling together of all the pieces of our lives. It doesn’t mean that we always understand what is happening to us, but we bring our torn edges to Him who holds us together.’  This profound insight from Sheila is what my controlling, wearied soul needed. 

Didn’t Jesus promise all who are weary, burdened, and heavy-laden that He would give them rest? [Matthew 11:28] Sounds wonderful. However, those of us who struggle to let go of our control find it hard to ask for help and struggle with abiding in our relationship with Jesus, have difficulty bringing all the torn edges of our tired and weary burdens to Him who can give us His peace in return. 

 And yet, for us to experience His complete rest, we have to come to Him first. We have to be willing to stop holding onto our not-so-perfect, busy, run-ragged, worried, fearful torn edges so He can take care and take hold of us completely. 

We have to understand what true abiding in Jesus is.

And before we go much further, I don’t believe for one second that God makes us sick to teach us something. That’s bad theology. However, in the frailty of our humanness, Jesus shows us that He is the only One who can give us true rest. But let’s not stop there with the Scripture. The next part says, ‘Put My yoke upon your shoulders – it might appear heavy at first, but it is perfectly fitted to your curves. Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. When you are yoked to Me, your weary souls will find rest. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light’ [Matthew 29:30].  

Jesus is speaking about the heavy burdensome load of the hundreds of laws the Pharisees demanded from others, promising His yoke is the rest we need for our wearied souls. The slavery of self-reliance, perfectionism and control are the torn edges Jesus wants us to give up so we can rest in what He did for us on the cross. 

This is true abiding in Him.

This is dwelling, remaining, being present. This is where we are held and kept by a God who keeps on reminding us, over and over, to bring every one of our frayed, torn edges to Him so He can hold us together.  

My recent illness reminded me [as I often forget] that I cannot control things. I needed space and time to rest and recover. And it was in those moments of my forced erm, intentional, complete rest, I learned, once again, to bring every one of my torn edges to the foot of the cross and allow Jesus to hold me. 

Torn edges frayed with many worries, doubts, and fears that eluded the rest my body and mind longed for because I needed to understand that abiding is in every part of our relationship with Jesus. We cannot patch our relationship with Jesus together with self-reliance, control, and our never-ending to-do list before we finally give in and say, ‘Okay, now I’m ready to abide.’ No, we have to learn to rest in Him.

We have to learn to abide by where we’re at. And if we’re not in the mood to listen, then we’ll have to learn the hard way to let go of our torn edges and lay them at the feet of Jesus so He can give us something in return. 

His REST.  

So, if you’re struggling today to give Jesus the torn edges of your worry, fears, and self-reliance that has wearied your soul, read this Scripture, and allow His rest to comfort you so you’re able to fully recover. 

‘The Eternal is my shepherd; He cares for me always. He provides me rest in rich, green fields beside streams of refreshing water. He soothes my fears; He makes me whole again, steering me off worn, hard paths to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name. Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness, I am not overcome by fear. Because You are with me in those dark moments, near with Your protection and guidance, I am comforted.’ 

Psalm 23:1- 4 [The Voice Translation] 

Wendy xo 

Like me, do you find it hard to rest and abide even in the not-so-great moments of your life, and give Jesus all your torn edges?


Wendy Parker

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