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.