I wanted to do a post for this week’s “Blog Hop” for my online Bible Study group. For more information about the current study, please visit Melissa’s Blog
Here was the topic I picked for this week:
Haven’t taken the “verse mapping” plunge? Dig into this verse for three days and share with us how your heart responds to His message to you?.
I have to admit…this verse caught me off guard. Why? Perhaps the terms “rest” and “quiet” don’t exactly fit into my immediate world right now. Last night I finally climbed into bed at 2AM after putting our three kids down…TWICE each! Matthew was in a great, wide-awake mood, Josh just really wanted mommy time and Caden wanted rocked…a lot! By the time my head hit the pillow, I heard Matthew let out his typical high pitched “shreek.” It was 6 AM…already? Rest. Quiet. Really?
In repentance – I stopped here. Notice it says IN repentance…as in DOING the action. Not after, not before…but DOING repentance. I’m not sure about you, but there always seems to be something on my heart that requires my humble approach to His Throne. Yet, the hustle and bustle of the day doesn’t actually allow time for this to be done…in the right manner.
…and rest is your salvation – As we are bringing our stones of guilt, shame, pride, arrogance…in other words SIN, to His Hand, the moment we hold our breath and actively, willingly give these pressures to Him, what follows? REST. Why? Because suddenly WE aren’t trying to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders anymore! Funny thing too…we were never meant to carry this weight to begin with.
Matthew 11:30 Jesus says, “For MY yoke is easy and MY BURDEN IS LIGHT.” – When we truly accept His forgiveness (and yes, this takes trust and time) we start this authentic relationship that results in REST for us and TRUST that He does what He says He will do.
If you believe “Jesus can take the wheel”…then let go and move to the passenger side (and while you are at it, quit checking the rear view mirror too!).
In quietness – I don’t think this means necessarily the silence from outside (or in my case…inside) noise. Though being in a quiet environment really helps me connect with God, I believe we can quiet our minds and our hearts in any circumstance. Why? Because we just gave our burdens to Him and His salvation is real to us. We have REST knowing that God can handle our little mess. Now we can truly quiet our minds from trying to figure everything out on our own and our hearts beat for His embrace and His presence.
…and trust is your strength. – Oh trust. How many times have you handed your burdens over to God only to somehow forget and revert back to your “self-help” methods? I’ve done it. God seems to nudge in, eventually when I let Him, and gently reminds me that He can take it all, He has already paid the price and truly there is more to life than trying to solve these issues on my own. To trust God fully is to go above just believing His promises, but its to actively LIVE OUT His promises on a daily, hour by hour basis. Trust is remembering how BIG He is and how little we are…but how He chooses to use us, as we are, to fit into His master plan. But in order to be used, we need to trust Him fully, that truly is our strength.
Isaiah 40:31 promises us:
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Truly trusting in God to simply do what He says He will do, in the midst of our chaos, will give us rest and and reward us with His strength.
Last night, my son Matthew showed me an illustration of this verse. My little 7 week-old is well over 12 pounds now and his lungs (we believe) were over developed! He has a scream that would make Abraham Lincoln jump out of his grave! Last night, I sat in the nursery, rocking him back and forth. His eyes were open wide and he just could not settle down, regardless of my position. I did all the mommy duties – he had been changed, fed, burped, fed again and changed again! As I sat there, my arms tightly wrapped around his quivering body, I whispered, “Matthew, mommy is here. Matthew, mommy is here.” Its as if he was focusing on a moving shadow that caused him great distress. He was so “in” to that moment, he could not focus on who was holding him.
Finally, I reached down and kissed my son on the cheek. Suddenly, the crying stopped. His eyes met mine. His body fell into my hands, relaxed, calm and at peace. Suddenly, the weird shadow meant nothing. Why? Because he knew where he was (and that mommy was frankly, the safest place he has ever been…and ever will be on this earth!).
I don’t know about you, but I find myself wrapped-up in lifes circumstances to the point I tend to somewhat throw a slight temper tantrum. You know…it sounds a bit like…
Why are these things happening to me?
I don’t deserve this?
My family doesn’t deserve this!
They don’t care about what’s going on with us or they would…
God, where are you?
I’ve been there, so many times! I remember one morning, waking up to Josh curled up next to me in bed. I breathed deep, never really wanting to move or leave that moment. Then I realized, it was chemo day. My mind went from restful to distraught in a matter of seconds. I asked these questions. I was frustrated, sick, tired and I wanted to just stay home! I was tempted to pick-up the phone and reschedule the appointment.
But God spoke.
When I picked-up my phone to cancel, I received a text from a friend. It was 2 pictures of the sunrise that morning and she said, “Look, God is here!” At that moment, I felt like Matthew did last night.
My crying stopped. My mind was focused. I remembered where I was…lying safely in His hands.
That day I went on to make a new friend and lead her to Christ. If I would have cancelled, God would not have had the opportunity to use my story to touch another’s life.
So I ask you…are you rested? Are you at peace? Do you remember Whos hands you are in?