In Quietness and Trust

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.  Is. 30:15

Identification is dehumanizing by prison number and demoralizing by resumé.  The old adage that we are human beings not human doings hasn’t influenced the way we judge the value of human life.  Yet, the toddler’s mantra, “I can do it all by myself” holds more power in my thinking than Jesus’ declaration that “It is finished.”

I still feel the judgment and want to prove myself worthy.  I’ve watched and read enough hero stories to recognize that as the ideal way to spend one’s life and breath. As a result, changing the world or sacrificing my comforts trying, is the only respectable way to use this one life I’ve been given.  We might fawn all over the excessively affluent in hopes of sharing a crumb of the power that money does buy, but jealousy isn’t the same thing as admiration.  I admire the courageous risk taker more than the trust fund heir. But I too long for fame and influence, but not really because of the changes that influence might bring as much as how deeply I look to that as a source of my own life’s justification.  To be the Robin Hood of justice, reversing a status quo that sucks life from the powerless, is a life meriting the words “well done”.

The successful businesswoman, dressed elegantly, skin polished to defy her age, renovating yet another huge and beautiful home, is better than the woman at home, living off her husband’s labor, squandering her intellect and capacities while finishing yet another series on Netflix.  So the latter tries other ways to earn the same sense of life justification, shunning the material and political awards in a frenzy of service involvements to children and community.  See?  I am found with great  value and worthy of life for these different reasons.

And then it is clear that from either angle, achievements either tangible or relational are the validating measure of life worth.

But what of the moment early on a summer morning  when the lake is still, the trees are green, and that yoga pose is achieved on the paddle board with nobody around to interrupt that perfect moment of peace?  In quietness and trust is your strength.

I would have none of it.  I trust my accomplishments more than those of Jesus.  My confidence is in my labor rather than His.  I haven’t had the faith in His completed work to rest from my own.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.                                                                                                      The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

“Made perfect in Love.”  What if I began to believe I would be perfected before His judgment by His love rather than my doing?  What might a love-perfected me be like?