One Important Thing
Welcome to Real Life. It’s January. I’m inspired. I’m full of ideas for wonderful things I want to make happen this year. I start the New Year running!
The problem is… I’m off-focus. I’m concentrating on doing things for God, rather than spending time with him. But, God’s been adjusting my focus with his words in Isaiah:
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."
Repentance It’s a scary word. It conjures up images of red-faced preachers with big black Bibles. At least it used to, until God showed me another picture of repentance:
In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, a son asks his father for an early inheritance. Then he leaves town and parties away his windfall. Broke, dirty and hungry, he comes to his senses. He repents. He heads home to humbly ask his father’s forgiveness. Dad’s there waiting and watching for him. Upon the son’s arrival, the father runs to his boy, throws his arms around him, and kisses him. As I repent, turning from my "doing" mentality to "being" with God, he's waiting with open arms.
Rest My soul is at rest in God’s presence. I run, run, run. All my running isn’t necessary. Only one thing is important. Like Mary (and not Martha), I need to sit at Jesus’ feet. 
Quietness Unless I’m quiet, unless I lean in and listen, I can’t hear God over the din. Elijah looked for God in the storm, the earthquake, and the fire. God was not there. He came in a gentle whisper. Until I get quiet, I don’t hear his whisper.
Trust It always comes down to trust. Do I trust God’s character? Do I believe he is good even when life is bad? Am I convinced God’s will is better than my own wonderful plans? “Yes” opens the door to God’s transforming power. “No” leaves the door closed.
But you would have none of it. I’ve been there. I’ve followed God in my own strength, ignoring his directives to pull back and rest. I like doing. I like to be busy. I feel productive. I feel important. I’ve pushed on without rest and quietness, without intimately connecting to him. Eventually, I crash.
December was a month of planning, preparing, and doing. Now that it's January I need repentance, rest, quietness, and trust. God’s response to all my planning: Peggi, you don’t need to make all that stuff happen. I’ll make happen what I desire to have happen. You need to stay vitally connected to me.
Lord, help me focus on the one thing that is important. Amen.
Something to think about…
- What's your picture of repentance?
- Can you hear God’s gentle whisper? Stop now. Spend a quiet moment in his presence.
- Do you trust God? The more time I spend with God, the more I know him. The more I know him, the more I trust him. God wants you to know him better.
- Suggested reading: Discovering Soul Care by Mindy Caliguire (www.soulcare.com).