So we promised a post mostly on Tuesdays about marriage, so here it goes…
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” – Isaiah 30:15b
We toil and struggle to find rest. Ironic isn’t it? In contrast a friend will say, “Let go and let God!” We exclaim, “That’s cliché! And, it doesn’t explain much!” This verse quoted above puts more meat onto what resting in the Lord and trusting Him looks like.
Yesterday I shared about our friend Terry. I had to return to her story again today. There is so much to be said for returning to the LORD and resting in a quiet awareness of His sufficiency in our lives and His worth. Our anxious craving counter- intuitively is calmed when we wrestle with the LORD in the quiet of an early morning for instance. Reading God’s Word will be commended to us decade after decade by older and wiser believers than me, and yet I can so easily want my courage and zest for living to come from my experiences and highlights. Do you experience this?
It’s not an either/or with God’s Word and being experience junkies like my wife and me… It’s not a both/and either. It appears from Scripture to be something to the tune of…
God’a Word and His ministry in the soul of believers through His Spirit affirming personal and corporate responses to His Word…
Then, heart-felt and genuine engagement in living out what God’s Word makes clear as God’s will for the believers’ lives together and in community…
Then, we are consistently challenged to include non-believers in the mix of our practice of community, bringing our actual neighbors and community-discovered friends into the refreshing context of Christian community.
To return to the rested action in marriage discussion as it relates to proactive marriages, Carrie and I believe that God makes clear that we are to have intentional personal times in His Word individually, praying through His Word and knowing Him as being intentional and personal with us through His Spirit causing His Word to come alive to us in our hands. Then, we are seeking to share what He is encouraging us with and also read and celebrate His Word as a couple for about ten minutes a day. We pray together a couple of brief times a day, praying for each other, for Jackson, and for our friends around us. As soon as possible after telling someone we will pray for them, we seek to grab each other and pray, even if only for five minutes, mentioning specific concerns and thoughts we have for each other or for the friend(s) we promised to pray for that day.
By doing these things, we are experiencing a trusting walk with God ad with one another, and our level of proactive encouragement of each other and others has increased instead of decreased. Trust in God together is actually helping us to be more calm and effective rather than us being found in meditative poses when labors of love need our attention… We seek to cover for each other in the morning so each if us can have our TAG time (Time Alone with God). It reaps dividends throughout the day, and we are finding we more naturally spring into spontaneous prayer for each other or our friends throughout the day when we have had TAG times earlier in the day.
Praying God’s Word in personalized ways has been one of the most fruitful habits to develop for both of us. What’s God’s will? It’s plastered all throughout God’s Word in grand and beautiful stories, in the struggles of our predecessors in church history, and in the lives of mentors and peers around us who are following hard after God.
May we so experience God’s rest in our lives that our lives become interesting to our friends not so much because of all our activity… but because of our attitude of trust and calm and rest and joy in our Living God.
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