"Into Your Hands..." An Invitation to Rest
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” (Isaiah 31:15)
Resting into what God is doing in our lives is not easy. Most of us know, or think we know, how this moment, the next hour, today, this month, this year, and the entirety of our lives should play out. As followers of Jesus we tend to prefer the prophet Jeremiah over Isaiah when he says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
That is a wonderful promise that Jeremiah proclaims to the Israelites trapped in Babylon. However, we do not know what to do with a leader and a King who would suffer and die. As we find ourselves looking at the Cross, death, and a tomb, it so often still doesn’t make sense to us. We want to follow this Jesus, but we don’t want to suffer. Yet it is suffering that causes us to trace our lives after the example of the suffering King.
Suffering is not so much about physical pain as it is about giving up and losing control. The more I look at the cross--really look at it--I see Jesus our leader giving up and losing control. Just days before, Jesus was experiencing the opposite of rest in the Garden of Gethsemane begging his Father to choose another way. However, in his next breath we see Jesus surrender yet again, “not my will but yours be done.”
Maybe that is the rest Isaiah and Jesus have been inviting us into all along. A way of living our lives in a posture of saying, “not my will but yours be done,” a posture of surrender. With this posture we can still be very clear about our dreams and desires, but ultimately we can open our hands and echo the words of our fearless leader King, “not my will but yours be done.” Jesus modeled this level of rest to us when he breathed his last and said “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” Oh, that we might be able to join Jesus in this posture of rest and trust on this side of Heaven, for we know that rest awaits us in Eternity! He is Risen!!! And so are we, thanks be to God!!!