Monday, March 22, 2010

A quiet heart

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says, "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.
Isaiah 30:15 (NIV)

A business associate stopped in my office to share that he lost his job very unexpectedly. Because of my experiences during the last 16 years, I never take events like this lightly. My friend's news hit especially close to my heart, however, as this week marks one year since I left Missouri, moved to Pennsylvania, and joined my husband who had begun a new job.

Since that day more than two years ago when my husband announced that he lost his job, hundreds of activities have taken place, thousands of miles have been logged, and conversations too numerous to count have transpired. I begin to sweat just thinking about what we endured during the last months.

Endured. Yes, that is the right word. Moving isn't easy and at times it's unpleasant. It involves separating from those you know and love and reaching out to complete strangers. It entails letting go of the familiar and embracing the unknown. It means releasing one dream and daring to imagine the possibilities. It requires finding your way in a new place and creating a setting you can call home.

The story is told of an order sent at the outbreak of World War I from headquarters in London to a British outpost in Africa. The order read, "We are at war. Arrest all foreigners." A short time later, the outpost sent the following response to HQ, "We have arrested ten Germans, six Belgians, four Frenchmen, two Italians, three Austrians, and an American. Please advise immediately who we're at war with." While humorous, this story reminds me how important it is to guard our emotions in the midst of difficult situations. Impulsiveness is dangerous, indeed.

The Old Testament king of Judah, Hezekiah, faced such an ordeal. The Assyrian army was underway to begin a siege of Jerusalem if Hezekiah didn't surrender. The prophet Isaiah advised Hezekiah to remain calm and quiet within the city and await the Lord's deliverance. In contrast to the rest of Jerusalem's nobles who brokered an unsuccessful alliance with Egypt, Hezekiah believed the prophet and urged the people to trust Yahweh's faithfulness. The Holy One of Israel delivered Jerusalem. (2 Kings 18-19)

Trusting God's promise means repentance. We can confess our sins to Him without fear for He longs to be gracious to all who come to Him by faith in Christ.

Trusting God's promise means rest. When we trust God, we don't have to strive for ourselves. We don't have to run all about trying to protect or guard ourselves. We have the best Protector, the best Guard in God. We can rest in Him.

Trusting God's promise means quietness. We don't need to argue for our position when God is on our side. In trust, we can be quiet before Him and before others.

Trusting God's promise means confidence in the God who loves us. We won't be given to despair or panic. He can and will come through.

My friend, what tough situation are you experiencing? There is no person walking this earth more powerful than a child of God boldly trusting the promise of the living God. In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength.

Blessings, dear friend.
Faithfully Following

Photo by Tom Curtis

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