So, while I can rationalize certain feelings and blame them on my circumstances, I would be better off to get to the root of it all, where circumstances are simply catalysts to make obvious the empty places.
Yes, things are sort of, well, crazy. But how I handle this particular crazy will influence how I handle all the future crazies.
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15
I am not saved by the pace of my life, the perfection of my decisions; I can not find my strength in organization or comfort. Yet I chase these things, and find that in essence, I am telling God that I will “have none of it”, when he is offering armfuls of the very salvation and strength I need.
He says, “come; repent, rest, be quiet and trust“.
In the Amplified version, the above verse goes like this:
“In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength…”
Repentance is a word haunted by cultural burdens. But in this verse, we can see that we can think of it as returning. We were meant to be in perfection with Perfection, and sin is the process by which we “leave home”. Repentance is coming back, leaving my self-seeking independence on the ground. But how hard for my proud heart to swallow. In the midst of my brokenness, I’d rather seek my will – imagining that somehow mine will trump His.
I must remind myself: If I were able to take a step back and get a clear look at my will vs. His, I’d jump at the chance to choose His instead. His is much, much, MUCH better, but it is easy to forget when pain and hurt flood in. It is easy to imagine otherwise when I have plenty of pride that resists the requirements of a humble return.
What does it mean to rest in the Lord, especially when faced with a week that is bursting at the seams with appointments and to-do lists? Our culture often ties rest with vacation, with breaks, with inactivity, with indulgence and laziness. But it is possible to be on the grandest vacation of one’s life and miss the true rest of God; it is also possible to have that rest in the middle of a hectic season of life.
The Hebrew word used here is “nachath”, which may also be defined as “lighting down, a quiet attitude, to be set on”. It is taken from the word “nchath”, which means “to descend”.
To be set upon the Rock, gently collapsing all our weight into His arms, and calmly watch the world spin around us from the safety of His embrace.
Duck under His wings and let Him deal with the pressure. Let Him provide the safety and the assurance and the hope. Let Him give you significance and value; allow yourself to exit the cycle of reaching, reaching.
This Hebrew word is also translated as “undisturbed”. When I think of what disturbs me, it is often things beyond my control. It is me, on my own, trying to patch things up myself. It is a nagging awareness that as I move forward, on my own, there is so much that could happen, that will happen, and I cannot influence it all. I get flustered and flurried when my control gauge bottoms out, when my head spins with all that I am not able to guarantee.
But how quiet it is, when He is in control. How still is the water, undisturbed by the struggle to obtain guarantees for myself.
I so often cease trusting that my Jesus wants what is best for me, and turn to my own ideas of how to find that for myself. I isolate myself from the Source, trying to find what my soul longs for in desolate places.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature” 2 Peter 1:3-4
His glory & His goodness have laid out promises that are whole and uninterrupted guarantees for us. The Source never changes; and each time I remember to return, I am reminded of this more.
If you trust Him, he will prove trustworthy. Once you say “yes”, it is a lifetime spiral of chance after chance to trust Him, and chance after chance to see Him follow through.
So, what about you? Where are you saying, with your habits and actions and thoughts and choices, that you will “have none of” what He offers?
He offered Himself, on a hill outside Jerusalem. He is offering Himself now, wherever you are breathing.
And He is the best thing.