Hold On and Relax

Hi friends! My family just left to run down to Manteca. The boys are going to go sledding tomorrow with cousins and grandparents. I am staying home to watch the dog. The boys were off  from school this week and Bobby took the week off as well. We have been hanging out and doing fun stuff together. I have also been attacked by allergies as the trees are blooming beautiful white and pink blossoms in my neighborhood. I think I forget that I have allergies every year until the blooming begins, then after a day or two of saying to myself “what’s wrong with me?” I take an allergy pill and feel better. I am now stocked up on allergy medicine and enjoying the quiet house.

This week I have been breathing in the words of Isaiah 30:15 –

In repentance and rest is your salvation. In quietness and trust is your strength.”

This beautiful verse has been one of my favorites and over the years it has calmed my heart and encouraged me to “hold on and relax”. This verse has found me in times of uncertainty when I didn’t know what would happen in my life. It has found me in times of exhaustion when just taking care of two babies took every ounce of energy that I had. It has found me in times of financial disaster when I felt lost and afraid.

Hold on…and relax.

It would seem that these two would work against each other but in the kingdom of God where His love rules supreme it makes perfect sense. When I looked behind the words to their original meanings this is what I found:

Repentance means “retirement”.

Stop trying to do this in your own strength and with your own wisdom guiding you. Retire from your work of worry. Stop trying to control things, it’s exhausting work and time to stop.

Rest means “laying down”.

The  word picture here is of someone who takes something and sets it down on a table and walks away. Lay it down at the feet of Jesus. Place it there. Leave it there. Trust. Walk away and feel lighter because you laid your burden down and left it in His capable hands.

Salvation means “liberated”.

One of the meanings of this word is liberated.  To be set free.  Do you feel trapped? Chained up? Imprisoned by circumstances and are longing to get out. I remember a time in my life when I very much felt like I was in a jail cell and looked out through bars of discontenmet and frustration. I looked longingly at the “freedom” that others were living in and knew that I needed to be liberated from where I was at. In this verse, God gives us the key to our (sometimes self-made) jail cell and it is called repentance and rest.

Quietness means”undisturbed”.

Quietness here doesn’t mean void of outside noise. It means the void of inside noise. Life hands us so many challenges that are just well, disturbing.  Something that comes in and wrecks havick with the peace we are holding on to. How many times have I started the day in prayer and felt full of faith and then something happens to disturb it?

Right now in this season of my life, just getting my kids out the door to school in the mornings is disturbing (Why can’t they ever find their shoes? How long does it take to brush your teeth? “Where is your jacket, I just handed it to you!!!”). I can’t say I’m looking forward to that next week:)

Anyway, what I love about this verse is that the next word shows me how to get “undisturbed”:

Trust means “trusting”.

I know you are shocked right?  But the word here is in the present tense. It means trusting – the present and continual tense. Not just the trust you had yesterday or last week or even last year. Trusting for today, for this moment, for this circumstance. Continuing trust. So when that thing happens and I start to panic on the inside – I turn to this verse and remember that I can trust God right this minute. The next minute might bring a new trial or victory but for this minute – I am trusting.

And trusting leads to strength.

Strength means “bravery”.

When I looked at the many words in the definition of this, it was bravery that stuck out to me. Because life demands bravery. It takes bravery to face challenges head on.  It takes bravery to change. It takes a brave heart to look at what seems impossible and believe that with God all things are possible (His words, not mine – Matthew 19:26) .

Be brave my friend, be brave.

Be liberated from fear and worry.

Lay it down. Let it go. Walk away.

Take hold of trust and make it work for you every moment of today.

Take hold of God and know that you are loved.

He will provide what you need.

He has been there in the past. He is with you in the present. He will be with you in the future.

Rest.

Hold on to Him and relax.

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