For the last couple weeks I seem to have become a virus motel! Every time one of the dang things clears out, another one arrives. It grows monotonous.
As I mentioned on Monday, I’ve also had this verse haunting me:
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength. …”
That’s Isaiah 30:15.
It goes on to say “But you would have none of it.”
Now, that is a response to God’s mandates that I’d prefer to avoid, so let us dispense with that last bit for now.
I should start by saying that as serious vices go, I am at far more risk of tipping into sloth than I am work-a-holism. I am so not the live-to-work type.
And, yes, trying to figure out how to be a business person is rough, but currently my business is by no means generating overtime hours – or even full-time hours! My house is pretty settled, I’m not really a cleaning freak, and it isn’t as if I’m signing on to numerous committees or training for a triathlon (may God forbid).
So, why was THIS PARTICULAR verse lurking behind every corner?
I was very confused.
At first, I thought maybe it was just stuck in my head – like songs can be, or a quote. But it definitely seems to be a bit beyond that. It first began to, er, assert itself when I got sick.
Just a 24-hour thing, thank God, but it took a couple days to really get back up to speed. And I took those couple extra days! I took off one entire day AFTER I felt I could be back at it!
What could be more ‘resty’ than that, I ask you?
After this couple of days, I got back at it. I do, after all, need to get to full-time with my business, I need to increase my income, I have these projects that are lurking…
And I got sick again. THIS ONE was evil. No charming 24-hour thing here.
And AGAIN with the verse!
Okay, okay … but how on earth could I be resting ‘better’?!? What is it you want me to [not] do?
I’ve always been a ‘writing on the wall’ kind of girl: Give me a nice, clear set of instructions and I’ll GLADLY follow them. This has never been God’s preferred method for communicating with me. Apparently it still isn’t.
But! I have found a slow trickle of hints.
“Look at that second segment.” a voice seemed to say.
“In quietness and confidence is your strength.”
Okay, well, I like quietness, you know, and I’m grateful that I have MORE of it here than I have in years. I just frantically hope I’ll be able to STAY where it’s quiet… and it won’t happen if I can’t… and if I have to leave it will all be ….
And confidence. I WANT to be confident! Of course I do! That’s what the whole ‘writing on the wall’ request is about! If I could just know for SURE, if you would just make ____ clear, if …
Other little hints trickled (back) in:
Be still, and know that I am God… (I especially love the way The Message phrases this one: “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” 😀 )
Come to me if you’re weary and I’ll give you rest…
And of course, the biggie: Without faith [aka an enduring confidence in God!] it is impossible to please God….
So, that whole returning to ME, resting in ME … looks like that’s RELATED to the quiet and confidence thing.
I’m not sure I have all the answers yet, but what I’ve learned so far seems to indicate that ‘returning and resting’ for me, in this season, look like:
- Remembering that I have given my situation to God.
- Remembering that I know God is more than able to provide all I need.
- Believing that he CARES to provide for me, that he’s been leading me, that he has promised to correct me if I start to go off course.
- Trusting that he understands my needs, and has them well in hand.
I tend to be great at this for a short period after God yanks on my leash, then slowly, slowly, I lose the plot, take the reins, and start to stress again. But, I guess that part of this resting assignment includes trusting him to be merciful when I fall, again, and to pick me back up and restore me, again. Goodness knows the (LARGE amount of) evidence is that he will!
AND, he has given me great friends, wise advisors, who have spent time this week sharing their own stories and offering insight, encouragement, and support.
This evening begins one of my favourite days of the whole year, Yom Kippur.
Each year, I try to take this ‘Sabbath of Sabbaths’ off from work, or school, or whatever I am obligated to at the time, and make it a retreat for re-centring my heart and mind on who I am in Christ, and what my purpose is in this life.
I suspect it is not a coincidence that this ‘rest quest’ arrived in the week or two before Yom Kippur!
I am excited to see what he’s got up his sleeve for our Yom Kippur date this year!