Repentance and Rest

Isaiah 30:15

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.

Every morning I am amazed.  I crawl out of bed and struggle through my morning routine: feed the dog, make a smoothie, brew some tea, take my meds, check my email, and read my Bible study. Then, I sit down in front of my laptop and think, well, what am I going to write today?  And I amazed that every day something happens!

I never know what is going to be the spark.  Sometimes it is a specific part of my Bible reading.  Sometimes it is an event that is happening or has happened. Sometimes I start typing and have no idea where it is going.

This morning I had an idea to explore more about why I jump so quickly to survival mode — combat gear on, kicking butts and taking names.  But then I sat down at my laptop, and saw a Facebook post from a pastor friend.  Isaiah 30:15 “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”  I made a quick comment on his post and was going to let it go at that, but then I was transported back in time.

In 1996 I was at home with three small children.  They were aged 3, under 2, and newborn.  If ever there was a time that the combat gear was on, that was it.  I was determined to be the perfect mother.  I was doing everything right.  I was consulting all the right books, attending a mother’s Bible study, nursing my baby, reading books to my kids, cooking everything from scratch, clipping coupons, … and I was sinking.  Fast.  This survivor found it very difficult to survive.

So, I reached out for help.  A friend was a counselor and he agreed to talk to me. I believe I entered his office spurting out the injustices of my life and how difficult it was and why wasn’t anyone helping me and surely this was someone else’s fault!  He listened to me for a while and probably made some suggestions.  I am imagining I shot them all down.  I vented in that office just a few times.  I can only imagine what it looked like.  I envision the counselor/friend covered in word vomit as I spewed forth all kinds of ugliness.

I remember three things from those sessions together.

  • He drew a picture of stick-figure me standing on a cliff overhanging rocks of fear and said that faith was being willing to swing over to other side, knowing that God would sustain me and not let me crash on the rocks.
  • He had me read out loud Deuteronomy 10:16 “Circumcise your heart, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.” Ouch.
  • Then he had me read and memorize Isaiah 30:15, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”

Man, he saw right through all of my spewing and cut to the heart of the matter, didn’t he?

was afraid.  Very afraid.  I wanted to do this thing right.  I wanted to be everything my kids needed.  What if I did something wrong?

I was so stiff-necked/stubborn.  That gear was strapped on.  I was on a mission, doggone it, so get out of my way.

I did need to repent and rest in the palm of His hand.  If I could just trust God, He would be my strength.

Well….I wish I could say that I heard him in 1996 and immediately changed my ways, submitted to God, and we all lived happily ever after.

But, you already know the rest of the story.  You know that the combat gear has been on for quite some time.  You know that I am just beginning to figure out how the stuff comes off.  I have just barely set down my battering ram.

In about 1999/2000 I remember driving the kids to school, praying with them, helping them put on the helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, sandals of the gospel of peace, belt of truth, … and I was putting those things on me, too.  Every morning.  But I skipped a step.  I forgot to take off the combat gear of survival and self-sufficiency.  It’s really difficult to wear two uniforms at once.  Very difficult to serve two masters.  I think that’s in the Bible.  Just sayin’.

I’ll be over here, repenting and resting.

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