It’s taken a lot of years to improve on this, but I’m finally learning to turn to God as a first option more frequently. So often, when there is some kind of problem in my life, I would react and attempt to use my skills and resources to solve it. Some times this is enough; many times it is not.
God has helped me change my thinking over the past couple of years. And truth be told, the more common scenario is not dealing with an actual problem, but the potential for a problem (for when something goes wrong, we usually have to do something). Anxiety is the true problem here — my fear of what might happen down the road.
This is a problem God promises to help with. Our job is to trust and believe.
There are several verses that bring this home to me. I came across a newer one in Isaiah (newer to me) in a recent morning devotional time.
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
Returning can also mean repentance here, but rest? Quietness? Trust? When I’m fearful, those can be hard attitudes to adopt. But later in this morning reading, I was in Psalm 31 and struck by how good David was at having this kind of mindset.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!
The next day I was in Isaiah again, and again this emphasis:
And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. (Isaiah 32:17-18, ESV)
This reminded me of a verse I had memorized last year. In Lamentations 3, Jeremiah, amidst his crying out (it’s a lament after all), gives this amazing expression of praise
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
There is so much emphasis in Scripture in this trust and confidence. I want more of this in my life. I long for quiet resting places, for my soul is often weary.
Thank God for making it possible for us to enter into his rest!