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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

The Rough, the Smooth: Day 2

Thy going in, thy coming out, thy rest, thy traveling about…
It was the day of closing on our home. Everything was moving along like clockwork and soon the papers would be signed and we would be on to the next phase of our grand moving scenario. When I awoke that morning I was tired, but why shouldn’t I be? I had spent weeks emptying cupboards and packing boxes.

About an hour before we were to leave for the lawyer’s office, I told my husband that I couldn’t go. I didn’t know why; but I could barely get out of bed. Getting dressed? Might as well climb Mt. Everest.

He went on and later the realtor came to our house to get my signature on the documents. That I remember. And vaguely, I remember being driven to the doctor, then taken to the emergency room and admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. But I do remember this: That evening as I lay in my bed, all decked out with oxygen and IV’s, I snuggled down (in a hospital bed, “snuggle down” is a relative term) and thought to myself, “I am just so glad to be here.”

We are a culture that puts a high priority on “goings” and “comings.” We value activities, meetings and the group, often believing that is where the answers are to be found. Rest, quiet, down time, are simply the way we refuel our tanks for another round of going and coming.

The verses below from James 4 illustrate how easy it is for our plans—even the good ones—to become idols: And that may be the reason why so often God’s answer to our prayer is “wait.” Real wisdom isn’t found in pushing our plan through, but learning how to give God both room and permission to change our situation.

I’m not there yet with God. I wish I were. Too often, my smallness of soul causes me to figure out not only the answer to a problem, but the logistics and timing. I package them as prayer and then issue them as marching orders to the Almighty God of the Universe.

One day, perhaps, I will know how to rest in God as I did in that hospital bed: completely out of my own resources and “just so glad” to be in the one place where complete healing and lasting help could be found.

Now listen you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow… (James 4:13. 14).

Nancy Shirah

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