It happened again. As I sat on my couch this morning, quietly doing my Bible reading, one of the verses jumped right off the page and slapped me smartly across the face. I admit that I've been struggling as I'm making my way through the book of Isaiah. I consider myself to be a fairly bright individual, but the book of Isaiah makes me feel like a blithering idiot. I just don't get it! It's a bit like time travel in that the passages jump from past to future, and many times, I'm at a loss to determine which is which. I don't do time travel (just ask anyone in my family)!
Anyway, I've been struggling to get through, which means my mind is prone to wander off somewhere during my reading. This morning, before I began, I asked the Lord to help me pay attention and to understand what I was reading. Well, I didn't understand it all (not by a long shot), but I got quite a beating from one verse in particular.
To understand the actual interpretation of the verse, you'll need to read the entire chapter and get the context (if you can). As for the application, that's what struck me. In a nutshell, this verse seems to say to me, "If you'll do what you know to do, take time to rest and enjoy life, spend quiet time just being with Me and trusting in Me to do what's best for you, you'll have the strength to conquer whatever you may face. . . but you just won't do it!" Ouch and ouch!!!! Or should I say, "Guilty as charged!"
Do what I know to do? -- Sometimes I do, but admittedly, sometimes I don't. I know better, but I make excuses for my wrong actions.
Take time to rest and enjoy life? -- Who has time to rest and enjoy when there's so much to be done? There are meals to cook, laundry to fold, books to write, bills to pay, and on and on. Rest? Enjoy? Seriously?
Spend quiet time just being with the Lord? -- At first, I thought I was pretty good at this one. I make a point to have my daily quiet time, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I often do a whole lot of talking during that "quiet time." Aren't we supposed to pray? Of course, but we're also supposed to be still and rest in His presence.
Trust that He'll do what's best for me? -- Hmm, that's a tough one. I want to trust. I know He can be trusted. But for some reason, when things seem impossible, my knee-jerk reaction is to worry, not to trust.
When I read this verse, it was like God was saying to me, "Dana, I've given you everything you need to live a joyful life. Strength is within your grasp if you'll only do what I've asked you to do. Is it really that difficult?"
Well, yes and no. In the flesh, it's quite difficult. In the spirit, however, it's a piece of cake (and I love cake!). See, not only has God asked us to do these things, but He's already given us the power to accomplish them. That power lies within us in the form of the Holy Spirit. If we will simply relinquish our control and allow Him to live through us, we'll have no trouble walking through this life, no matter how rough the road may be.