Two days ago, I returned from a 10-day trip to visit some friends and family in Minnesota. It was an incredible time, filled with joy and tears and good fellowship, and I came back home in desperate need of some down time. I have not been able to rest as completely as I really wanted to — a friend is getting married this weekend — but it’s all good.
Taking rest in the middle of the hurly-burly is a growth area for me right now, and this is a golden opportunity to practice. I’d like to say something about how it’s all about attitude or whatever, but I don’t know what it’s all about. I’m just fumbling along, trusting God to deliver me from my anxieties and give me peace. The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, as the apostle once said. For all that I’ve been a Christian for most of my 37 years, I’m still kinda new to this dimension of walking with God.
I’m new to a lot of things. Although I had been aware of 1 Timothy 2:8 for a long time, I’d never really been convicted that it was something important to follow until pretty recently. Suddenly I find myself lifting up my hands in prayer, and I don’t really know why other than that God says to do it. I’m a theology geek — I want to understand before I dive into things like this. I don’t understand, not at all. I can dig through the biblical passages that talk about lifting hands (there’s a fair few, it turns out), and I can get a general concept for what the practice is about, more or less. Some conclusions rise to the surface pretty readily. But to be honest, I don’t really get it. So I find myself having to simply rest on the Father. He knows what it’s about; He’ll take care of it. I’m just aiming for obedience seeking understanding. I expect to understand in a year, or five. But understanding comes from the Father; He’ll give it when it’s time.
I fumble about with this one too. Sometimes I just plain forget. Other times I find myself caught in a cleft stick between obedience to the command on one hand, and on the other hand, obedience to other commands like loving my neighbor or not putting a cause to fall in my brother’s way. I do have a few people in my life who are thoroughly put off by the whole thing; seeing me raise my hands this way grieves and annoys them. I’m not sure what to do about that.
Re-introducing obedience to a culture that has grown comfortable with disobedience has a lot of inherent problems, and I don’t navigate the territory perfectly. There’s no recipe for this; I’m making decisions on a case-by-case basis, and sometimes I make the wrong call. All I can do is try to remember to keep an eye on the Father and follow what He leads me to do.
And rest. He knows what He’s doing.
It was great to see you this past week – even though our time together was brief. I was greatly encouraged, enlightened, and challenged by your walk through the Word on Sunday. It will be interesting to see how the Lord uses it to change me (and those around me, God willing). I would welcome a longer visit the next time you are passing through – and in the mean time hope to keep in closer touch by email, at the least. I trust you will find some “down time” in the upcoming week.
It was good to see you as well; it’s been far too long. I’m glad you enjoyed the message Sunday. I had a good time delivering it, too. God’s rich blessings on your new endeavors (and may those blessings include getting some sleep).