You Don’t Have to Try

You Don’t Have to Try

I try to keep my act together.  I really do.  And I almost succeed every now and then . . . until life happens.   And my life is messy.   My children bicker.  I forget wet laundry in the washer for a whole day.  Plans change.  I don’t pick somebody up on time.  I work long hard days and still can’t cross a single thing off my to-do list.  (Unless I write down what I just finished.)  I lose the permission slip.  Somebody runs out of clean socks or underwear.  My husband likes to remind us to “keep a tent on our circus”.  Wise man.

I’m not ignorant or incompetent.  I can cook a decent dinner.  I can stay on top of the laundry.  I can have quality time and teaching moments with my children.  I can exercise.  I can have a meaningful and insightful conversation with my husband.  I can clean the house.  I can read a book or write a post.  I just can’t do them all on the same day.  I can only do two or three in a day.  Okay, maybe just one—on a good day.

I wonder if I stopped my frantic striving for just a moment, could I hear Him?  Could I hear His still small voice whisper to my weary soul, “You don’t have to try.  I’ve already completed all the really important work for you.  I just want you to abide.  To rest in what I’ve already done.  You can’t add a single blooming thing to it anyway, so quit trying to be someone I never meant for you to be.  Just be.  Be still and know that I am with you.  I know you don’t have it all together and I’m good with that because I do.  I am the One who holds all things together.  Not you.  Please rest in my love.  Receive my grace and let it wash over the bumps and bruises you’ve given yourself trying to do more and be better.  Don’t try.  Receive.”

Why you need to stop trying harder. #bestill Click To Tweet


  • Such good thoughts and sharing. Loved the line “I wonder if I just stopped…” yeah that is why perhaps God said, “Be still and Know that I am God.” He has it taken care of, it is not our worry or concern.

  • unspeakablejoymccoy

    I totally get this in every way possible. Instead of trying to do it all, I need to step back and receive. Thanks for the encouragement today, Elizabeth!

  • Love this right here! Don’t try… just BE!

  • Such liberating, rest inducing words, Elizabeth. Thank you. Visiting from FMF.

  • Elizabeth- Beautiful post! I especially love the last lines: ‘Receive my grace and let it wash over the bumps and bruises you’ve given yourself trying to do more and be better. Don’t try. Receive.” Amen! Abiding more and striving less. Great words here- thanks for sharing them. Happy Friday!

  • judith heaney

    Oh, my, I simply love every word of this post, from the description of the things you didn’t get quite right to all the things you know you can do if you don’t try and to all of them all the time to the whispered voice of God.

    These words are like a cold cup of water to a fellow weary soul who sometimes forgets to stop trying and doing and simply abide in Him.

    Thank you for your beautiful words today.

  • Thanks for this post! It’s just too easy to do and do and do instead of receiving. The experience of blessing is just so much better than failing! 🙂 Happy Friday to you!

    • I know! Right? Why is doing easier than receiving? You’d think it would be the other way around. I guess to receive, we have to acknowledge our lack, our deficiency, our emptiness. Ouch! Sometimes it’s just easier to do more than to face the truth. At least for me, anyway. I hope you have a beautiful day, Katha!

  • such a lovely post, bless you.

  • Beautifully said!

    Interestingly, the situation is rather turned on its head by the somewhat unpleasant physical circumstances in which I find myself – as illness narrows my world, I have to strive harder, and am egged on by a Creator-turned-Taskmaster!

    He reminds me, when I stop to rest, that I have not accomplished that which He set as my task; namely, spreading the word that joy can be nurtured in the darkest dungeons of pain, and that hope will still leap over the walls of fear…if you just give it a boost.

    Sure, there’s my blog, but that white-robed So-And-So wants a BOOK.

    And He’s hinting about public speaking…when it hurts too much to ride in the car to McDonalds with my wife, for a cup of tea!

    Yeah. Well. He’s God, and I Gotta, but He has to help!

    And He does.

    (I’m 316 on FMF today – your neighbour.)

    • Isn’t it amazing how God speaks to each of us right where we are? To some He says, “Stop trying so hard” while saying to others, “Keep pushing on.” He knows us each so intimately and uniquely and He always knows just what we need to hear. God will equip you and give you all the strength you need to be a vessel for his will to flow powerfully through you. And when our work here is through, a Heavenly rest awaits. I can’t wait to read your book!

  • Elizabeth, great post!! I love to write something on my “To do” list just to cross it off too. Thanks for stopping by my place too!!

    • Tara, aren’t we humans funny? Maybe instead of making a to-do list at the beginning of the day, we should make a what-I-did list at the end of the day. What do ya think?

  • Oh, Elizabeth. My heart resonates with this post. I’m such a striver by nature. For various reasons I struggle with the feeling that I must try harder. I love the sweet words you shared. What we really need to do is abide, trust God and rest in Him. A life lesson I seem to have to keep on learning . . . and I only have two kids. 😉 LOVED this post!

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