Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14
Waiting is not all that easy for me. I don’t think I’m alone in this. Everything moves so fast all the time and I get the feeling that I need to be instantly accessible to everyone and many times I think people should be ready to respond to me instantly as well. There just seems to be a shortage of patience.
This carries over into my relationship with God as well. God is on an eternal plan. He is working all things together for what he knows is best. In Exodus 32 when Moses headed up the mountain to hear from the Lord, he was gone for 40 days. From the perspective of the people at the foot of the mountain, he had been gone for a really long time. But God tells Moses the people had been quick to turn away from him. Same amount of time–different perspective.
If I am going to have the peace in my soul that God desires to give me, I must learn patience. I must learn to rest in the promises and the power of God. I need to be patient with other people in the same way that God is patient with me! I can learn to wait. I need to be strong and let my heart take courage.
What does that practically look like for me? I need to trust that God will answer and so I need to let him answer. In my impatience I am quick to bring my solution. That didn’t work out so well for the people at the foot of the mountain and it doesn’t work out well for me either. I need to courageously wait for God to do what he knows is best for me–and for the people I am praying for. What seems to be taking a long time from my perspective is really quick in light of eternity!
Patience takes courage. Patience takes strength. Impatience responds in fear and is the response I have in my weakness.
Dear Lord! Give me the courage and the strength to be patient! Also, thank you for being patient with me.
Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. Psalm 116:7
There is a long conversation that goes on inside my head (and perhaps my heart). It is the ongoing conversation of self-talk. Day in and day out I have this ongoing dialogue that is usually very dependent upon my current situation or my perception of that same situation. Many times I can hear hopelessness or failure in these not so quiet moments. Harmful self-talk causes me to identify myself by the things that have defeated me, causing me to end up in a very unhealthy place.
I think it may have been the same for the psalmist. Be at rest once more. I love considering that. I can be at rest in my soul. I know it is possible because it has happened before. Once more. Once again I long for my soul to be at rest–the same way that it has found rest before by considering all the ways the Lord has been good to me.
Self-talk which is healthy for me is the dialogue that reminds me that I have been created in the image of Almighty God and that he has created me uniquely and specially. I have dignity because my Creator has given me that dignity. He created me and he loves me–even when I was separated from him by my sin. He demonstrated his love by sending Jesus to die in my place. I have been rescued by Jesus and now all my sins are forgiven. I am no longer defined by the things that have defeated me, I am defined by the one who has given me breath and life.
Be at rest, the Lord has been good.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
I don’t know about you but it doesn’t take much for me to live in weariness. So many things in the day-to-day activity of life can cause me to get weary. There seems to be a relentlessness to everything that needs to be done and all the people that need to be pleased. I can feel as though I need to be immediately accessible. Technology continues to reach into every moment of my life.
I remember when I was younger and technology was not twenty-four seven. Every night the television stream would stop transmitting as people stopped. Weekends were preserved as Sundays would find stores closed and a slower pace to life. But that is not the way it is now.
So what is it that Jesus offers? Rest. Rest from the weariness of this world. Rest from the weariness of guilt and shame. Rest from the weariness of trying to live up to everyone’s expectations. Rest from the weariness of holding on to bitterness. Rest from the weariness of trying to find my purpose. Rest from the weariness that causes me to carry a burden that is too great. Rest.
In some ways it sounds too good to be true. But it is absolutely true that if I go to Jesus and remain in his love I will find this sweet rest. I know this to be true by my experience as well. Find rest my soul in God alone, my Rock and my salvation!