RESTING - Week of August 14th

By Judy Nichols

August 14, 2016


    Back when both television and I were very young, our family spent many evenings together watching wholesome sitcoms and variety shows. Mom and Dad sat at either end of the sofa, my sister sat in the big green chair, and I sat between my parents. Often I would lay my head on Daddy’s lap and he would stroke my hair or rub my back. That’s one of my fondest childhood memories.

    Now both television and I have grown old and we both look very different from way back then. I find I watch very little television now, both because the content is not to my liking and because I have many other things to do. Especially as we have gotten older, the uncertainties and difficulties of life press in on us.

    One evening, when the cares of our world were especially troubling me, as I went to prayer the words of a song came too me. "If I could just sit with You a while; if You could just hold me. . ." It made me think of those long-ago evenings with my Dad, and I longed for that kind of intimacy with my Lord. As I envisioned myself with my head on Jesus’ lap, His peace began to quiet my soul.

    I was reminded of Psalm 131. The first verse speaks about not being proud or having haughty eyes. And I realized this is not a time to try to be Super-Woman. There will undoubtedly be times ahead when I will need help. I must not be too proud to ask for it; I must not assume that those in my circle of friends and family would consider any request from me to be beneath them. All of them are time- and adversity-tested relationships, bound in mutual love of Jesus and each other.

    The psalm also speaks of not involving myself in great matters or things too difficult for me. This speaks to me not only of trying to do too much or things that are beyond my capabilities, but also of speculations about what the future might hold. There are things we are not meant to know (Deut. 29:29), that are beyond our comprehension, and the future is one of those. I cannot know where our paths will lead us, nor would I want to. And entertaining possible scenarios is one of the surest ways to let the enemy of our souls pierce us with fear and worry.

    The Psalmist paints a picture of contentment when he says he has composed and quieted his soul like a weaned child resting against his mother. His needs are met; he is secure, not troubled by anything. This was how I felt years ago with my head on Daddy’s lap and his great, strong hand gently caressing my head.

    The Psalm ends with an exhortation to hope in the Lord now and forever. This is my call, to put my hope in Him, to rest in His everlasting arms (Deut. 33:27), to quiet my soul with the memory of His past faithfulness to me and His promise of future faithfulness. Our hope is in the Lord; our times are in His hands. Our future is secure, perhaps not in the here and now, but certainly our ultimate destination is sure and one which fills us with grateful anticipation.

© Judy Nichols 2016

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