Recently, when I read the Chapter “Truth” in Priscilla Shirer’s book my mind went back almost one year when my wife and I were in the final throes of moving back to Halifax. In two years we had uprooted ourselves for a new adventure – living away – only to have the term cut short and find ourselves moving back.
Yes, it’s great to be back home, but I was just getting into a groove with my routine away when work needs caused me to return home. I was involved in an international gospel choir (“the pale white guy playing the bass” as the guys in the choir would quip!), enjoying the company of my work mates and building relationships with neighbours and our church community.
So on that moving day some 11 months ago, with our belongings packed up in a truck, we decided to counterbalance the anxiety of yet another move and enjoy – for one last time – a caffeine fix at our favourite café.
As we sat in silence with lattes in hand I could not help but cry out (in my head) “God, what in the blazes is going on? What are you doing with us?” and as if on cue, the Holy Spirit impressed on my mind a simple yet powerful message of assurance:
“Rest in My Promise.”
He reminded me of the words of Christ to His disciples in Matthew 6:19-34 that His Father wants complete dependence on Him for all of our worldly, daily cares. Verse 24 of the New Living Translation reads “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”
That is none too subtle. But it does not end there; He does not merely command us to ignore the trappings and circumstances of life with a glib “don’t worry, just be happy” but instead He – the Holy Sovereign God – makes a covenant with all who will heed His words and rest in His promise that He will provide. The Message in verse 34 succinctly captures this covenant:
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
“Rest in My Promise.”
That moment inspired me to pen the following word which I share with you in the hopes that you will find peace and comfort in His promise, and that in your tough times you will remember to rest in His promise.
Left one empty house,
Walkin’ into another.
in a truck,
Somewhere between here
It took months to get into a groove
and now, again, a do-over, a move.
Roots started to take, Now pulled up to be transplanted – again.
From the outside looking back,
Analyze the facts,
A mess of random acts ,
With no obvious thread or logical link to any sort of plan.
What am I doing this for? When will I be able to just, simply, settle?
Self preservation cries out – GOD, WHAT’S THE PLAN? WHY CAN’T YOU JUST LET ME SETTLE???
The right question, to the Right One who has the Right Answer.
For it’s then that He reminds me of the futility in striving to fix my situation or to understand every reason and purpose using my limited, temporal reasoning and imagination – Like trying to paint a brilliant sunset using a monochromatic palette of whites and greys.
And it’s only then that the peace that cannot be explained gently takes the brush from my hand, and using the same palette with my life as His canvas create splashes of sunset colours that I could never imagine.
In that same way I can never begin to understand what God has planned
but I can rest in the knowledge that He does.
It’s enough for me to rest.
It’s up to ME to rest.