By Lisa Huddleston
“They truly love to wander; they never rest their feet” (Jer. 14:10, HCSB).
I had a terrible time trying to fall asleep last night. The room was cool. The lights were out. All of my family was safe and sound. Everything was just as it should be—but a strange stirring in my legs kept me wide awake and nearly drove me crazy. No matter how hard I tried to be still and rest, they wanted to keep moving. Strange to speak of parts of my own body as though they are separate entities with wills and desires of their own; but, it was the truth. I would be right on the brink of sleep, and they would simply have to move. My best guess is that I was experiencing something I’ve heard about called Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). But whatever it was, it made me nuts and kept me (and probably my poor husband) awake for way too long.
Not coincidentally I’m sure, my morning’s meditations took me to Jeremiah 11-15. While reading and making notes in my journal about interesting thoughts or phrases, I laughed out loud when I came to verse 10 of chapter 14. Oh yeah … I could relate to what God was saying to the people about their restless, rebellious natures. Those wandering people were just like my restless legs! Although Jeremiah begged them to “Listen and pay attention … Give glory to the Lord your God before He brings darkness and your feet stumble on the mountains at dusk” (Jer. 13:15-16), the people continued to move farther and farther from God’s way. They sought after other gods and refused to “restrain their feet” (14:10, NIV).
Today, we are His people. Not only that, we are His Body—His arms and His all-too-often-restless legs. “Do you not know that your bodies are the members of Christ?” (1 Cor. 6:15, HCSB). Like the people Jeremiah addressed and like my restless legs last night, we are members of Christ’s body that have minds of our own that sometimes take us to thoughts and actions that are far from the will of our Head. When I remember how frustrated my wayward legs made me as I struggled to rest, I can imagine how my frequent wanderings and restlessness must appear to my God. As a member of His body, my rebellious actions are strange and unnatural like limbs that move on their own accord—separate and even sometimes in opposition to the leadership of my Head. And, like my legs, my actions may be unconscious and unintentional—busy-ness just for the sake of doing something, activities that distract from my time with God and take my focus away from Him. Not exactly rebellion but damaging to my effectiveness as a part of His body.
As Jeremiah stated, it is vital to our relationship with the Lord to “Listen and pay attention” to God’s will. And contrary to what my stubborn, self-sufficient little heart may believe, it is more effective to let go of our supposed control of our lives—to be still and know that He is God (Ps. 46:10). Eyes closed. Palms lifted to receive whatever He gives. And hearts resting and trusting in Him.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, Seal it for thy courts above.
–“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” Robert Robinson