Fighting isn’t the answer. As a born and bred warrior, a fighter since the womb, you can imagine my resistance to this notion. But it’s clear:
“For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’” - Isaiah 30:15
When we’re faced with a problem, especially one that threatens our very being, it’s natural to raise our fists and start swinging. We hold our breath and our heart races and we wonder whether or not we’ll make it.
Our bank account is so bare there are splinters under our nails from scraping the bottom. We get an emergency alert that there’s a pedophile living in our cookie-cutter neighborhood that, five minutes ago, felt impervious to crime. We find out our spouse has been cheating for months, even years, and suddenly the two kids, mortgage and half a dozen photo albums feel like a farce.
The natural response is to fight, but God invites us to do what is completely counter-intuitive. Return to Him, rest in Him, be quiet and trust in Him. How do we do that when every neuron is firing and telling us to RUN?
“Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident… For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.” - Psalm 27:3,5
Few people in history understood the struggle of trusting in God in the midst of unbelievable hardships. David lived in the wilderness, in caves, for years before he went from being anointed king to actually becoming king. He was hunted by the king of Israel, Saul, who once took him in like family, and then David was betrayed by many.
In returning and rest you shall be saved. In quietness and in trust shall be your strength. The very thing that feels like emotional suicide. How appropriate for God to use the very essence of surrender to bring about victory; through Him and His power, rather than self.
Sometimes the most difficult part of this surrender comes in the form of simply being still, and letting the tears fall. Being authentic enough to admit that everything isn’t as it should be, things are not all right, and pain is evident. Living in a fallen world means living in pain - it’s inevitable. Jesus promised we’d have suffering in this world, but our reason for taking heart wasn’t because things would get better, but because Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33).
When we consider what’s to come in eternity with the Father, and give thanks for what’s been provided today, we find peace in the One who gives all things needed and provides blessing after blessing in more of Himself.
Stop fighting. Take a deep breath. Drop your shoulders and breathe again. Let the tears fall. Let loose the cry in your chest. Allow your hands to shake. Return to the One who provides peace and rest, and in His time and His way, watch him save.