Friday, August 23, 2013

Don't Wrestle, Just Nestle

I've seen a lot of church libraries in my various travels. Last week was no exception: the church I was helping at for a conference decided to get rid of their library, and there were several tables of books all being given away for free.

Oh, the glory. Most trips I come away with at least one extra book; this trip I came away with an entire grocery sack full. It was splendid. After all, when you see George MacDonald novels lying somewhere for free, you should never hesitate to snap them up.

Seeing the church library and being at a Bright Lights conference brought to mind a book I've been meaning to review for some time--ever since the blog started, in fact. Just after attending a Bright Lights conference in 2014, we took a trip to visit a church in Illinois, and while I was visiting with some girls and looking over the shelves of the library at the same time, I pointed out a book on the shelf and said "Now that is a good read."

One of the girls looked at the title, and read "Don't Wrestle, Just Nestle. Sounds cute."

"It is not cute. It's an important book," I countered swiftly, probably with just a little more passion than necessary to get my point across.

But it was important to me. I read it every year for one stretch of my life, and though I haven't read it for a long time, I count it very dear, for it helped me cling to God through a dark stretch, and showed me that His love doesn't let go, no matter how afraid we are of our own falling.

Corrie Ten Boom, the famous woman of the faith who survived Nazi concentration camp, wrote Don't Wrestle, Just Nestle. She is one of my spiritual heroes, mainly for one reason. Jesus is Victor...Jesus is Victor...she repeated that point over and over and over again, with the firmness that inherent worriers need, and the gentle understanding that winds an introvert round your little finger. I've read many of her books, including The Hiding Place, Letters From Prison, Amazing Love, Tramp For the Lord, and numerous others. She taught me that Jesus was my Judge and my Advocate; and that there is no pit so deep that Jesus is not deeper still.

So: for all those out there who tend to worry every once in a while, this is my top recommended book. If you feel rushed, inadequate, wounded, sick at heart, or down-right depressed, then Don't Wrestle, Just Nestle offers counsel of healing and hope in its pages.

And I would like to introduce you to it today.

The Book
There is a great deal of difference between worry and concern, and we must realize this. Concern makes us do something to ease the situation. It moves us to take constructive action. But worry burdens our minds and bodies without helping us to find a solution to the problem. Worry is like racing the engine of an automobile without letting in the clutch. You burn energy, but you don't go anywhere. ~Chapter 1

In this book, Corrie discusses six areas that are important keys for every Christian to understand. The three problems she talks about are worry, fear, and frustration.

Worry is so prevalent in our culture, she says, but worry is a foolishness that we consider wisdom, and we are now addicted to it. We have many causes for worry; after all, when Jesus came to earth, he didn't tell us we would never face areas of concern in our life. But he did tell us what to do about it.

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. ~Matthew 6:31-34

Worry leads to fear. When we are not abiding in the Lord and allowing His power to work through us, then we become crippled by all the darkness we imagine our future to hold. And worry and fear, unchecked, lead to frustration and anger with those around us.

When I read this book for the first time at fourteen, it hit hard. Worry is unwillingness to trust the Lord? Surely not. But as I continued, I saw just how much I had taken my problems into my own hands, to fix in my own power. It always twinges the pride a bit for a worrier to hear that they're being sinful. ;) But it certainly helps put things into perspective.

Corrie only hurts enough to convict, and each time she is swift to offer healing. After worry, fear, and frustration, she counters the problems by discussing their three antidotes: Prayer, trust, and surrender. God hears every one of our prayers, and keeps them before His throne as a fragrant offering. We must trust Him, for He alone is all-powerful. And we can only trust when we surrender our burdens and their solutions completely to him.

By the time you're finished with Don't Wrestle, Just Nestle, you catch just a glimpse of the power of God, and just a glimpse of the rest He wants you to have in Him. It's a little book that I highly recommend.
Cast your burden on the Lord,
    and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
    the righteous to be moved.
~Psalm 55:22

My Thoughts
Many Christians, especially adult Christians, consider worry to be a necessary part of life. It's reality, folks. The bills have to be paid, the children have to be taught, people are waiting for us to follow through on our commitments, and there are myriads of crises and accidents throwing us for a loop.

Our family faced this conflict earlier this summer when we took a trip to Washington. What if we didn't get our passports on time? What if we had trouble at the border crossing? Two days before we began our travels, a plane crashed at the San Francisco airport--the same airport we planned to land at for one of our layovers. We didn't expect it to happen twice, but it shakes you up a little, all the same. And one by one absolutely  none of these things happened. Our passports came on time, we didn't crash at the San Francisco airport, and we crossed the border with no problem at all. But then came another test: we had rented a car and were travelling down Washington to get to the airport on time for our return plane, when we ran into a huge traffic jam. We were down to the wire, there were no taxis available to get us from the rental place to the airport, and what if we missed our flight and had to re-book? That could be expensive.

What happened? Well--we arrived with not a second to spare, and skipped supper until our next layover. But we arrived. :)

And in the end, what was the point of worrying so much? Yes, we prayed hard. But you don't have to pray and worry at the same time. Worry leads to stress, and takes our eyes of God's ability. Over the years, the more God has opened my eyes to His Sovereignty, the less I find that a situation requires my 'what ifs'. Even if we had missed our flight, or gotten stuck at the border, or didn't get our passports, God was in control.

Not to say I don't worry anymore. I worry plenty. But after several years of reading Don't Wrestle, Just Nestle, I have a different perspective on worry than I used to. And I hope that with time, my trust in the Lord will deepen still more.

Today is yesterday's tomorrow you worried about, and all is well.
Some people claim that worry drives us closer to the Lord. But while our sin should turn us to the Lord, we still have the option of doing the right thing from the beginning. Obeying God's commands to trust and rest in Him don't need worry to make our obedience any more acceptable. We can be free from that.

As Christians, we are designed to war with the world, the flesh, and the devil. But we aren't supposed to kill ourselves in the process. Too many of us are taking on battles that, far from defeating the enemy, are only wreaking damage on ourselves. Worry accomplishes nothing; fear fixes nothing; frustration only hurts our fellow soldiers. But when we learn to pray to the only One who is powerful, to trust the One who is our Victory, and to surrender our own inadequacies to Him: then we know that Jesus is Victor, and through Him we are victors as well.

We should be at peace with our allies, and at war with our enemies. Don't Wrestle, Just Nestle, focuses on how to do that.

The church library that stocked this book had a gem that I hope they took advantage of. :) While Corrie's autobiographies are fascinating, this book is my favorite work of hers, and one that I hope each of you will take the time to look up as well.

Lady Bibliophile


  1. I read this book two years ago and it was very nice! I should read it again soon...
    That return trip to the airport is a story I love to tell over and over. ;) It's amazing to look back on it and see how God helped us make our flight. It's a wonderful example! :D

    1. I should read it again soon, too! It's been too long. :)

      I loved the stories from our trip. We were going through so many new experiences, and the Lord brought us through them all. There were a lot of funny or inspiring ones. :)


  2. Thank you so much, Schuyler.
    Worry is often a subtle sin, but it is deeply dishonoring to God's power and love.
    Your honesty is a refreshing encouragement to the rest of us seeking to trust and abide in Christ. Keep up the good work!

    the Philologist

    1. Thank-you Philologist. :) I always love it when you stop by, and I hope we can have a chat again soon. :) I can't remember which stories I told you about our Washington trip, but I rather suspect there are a lot more that will come out in future... It was amazing. This whole year has been quite incredible, not the least of which seeing you all last weekend. :D


  3. Wow...this is one of those posts where I read it and think "I want that book, and I want it right *now*." :P
    Great post, Schuyler. Thank you. ;) I must find this book somewhere. ;)


    1. Wow! I'm glad it sounded that good, and it is definitely worth wanting *now*. :D I looked on Amazon the other day and it was quite expensive (over $100) I got mine through Barnes and Nobles, which you probably don't have in Canada. But a thrift shop/online store might have it!


  4. Love Corrie Ten Boom! You know whatever she tells you, she knows what she's talking about because it doesn't get much worse than what Jesus took her through. I haven't read her book, but it would be a comfort about now as the temptation to worry is stronger than usual for me.
    Oh, yes, I found your card from the Maranatha writer's conference last year the other day (we're moving) and signed up finally!
    I'm drooling over that book giveaway. George MacDonald copies for free and not on a computer screen... Oh, what joy!

    1. Hi Cheri!

      Corrie Ten Boom's story is so inspiring. :) Every time I read one of her books I am always touched and comforted.

      It was great to meet you at the writer's conference last year! I'm going to be there this year as well. I hope you're finding good success with the magazine articles; Creation apologetics is so important.

      Blessings on your move and new phase of life!



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