Rest. Peace. Sat down.
Wonderful terms. Beautiful concepts. Blessed assurances to be found in Jesus Christ.
In the unrest and discomfort of life, it is a profound and encouraging truth to find rest and peace.
My Dad must have a good relationship with Jesus. He exudes a degree of calmness and serenity that I have grown to find more and more amazing. How can he have three children like us and still be so at peace? How could he calmly go through those challenges of being an immigrant among those who might have such unpleasant and derogatory views and comments on that? How could he do all of that and more? He has always put it down to what he finds in God.
In all of that, however, there is something about the commitment to follow Jesus that is an invitation to embrace being unsettled. The path to peace requires unsettling and disturbing the status quo. Everything I held onto and deemed to be true comes under scrutiny of the new way of life. Even the very practices that were thought to be honouring to God are under review in the light of what Jesus calls us to be. That’s unsettling.
I grew used to one way of praying. That was a familiar and comfortable way of communicating with my heavenly Father. What happens when He calls me to something different that gives me a greater insight into who He is? Is that easy at first? No, that’s unsettling.
This is the way we get on with God when we gather, this is what we do and this is how we do it. This is how we’ve always done it, this is how we’ll always continue to do it. What if He says that time is over? What if He indicates a change to take to refresh the relationship? Is that simple to follow? That’s unsettling.
Building up walls of defence for so long to stop people hurting you. You can keep your distance and stick to the routine and keep ‘safe’. Yet Jesus talks about a love that shows that we belong to Him which will require vulnerability and the real jeopardy of disappointment and betrayal. Is that going to be easy to follow? Really? Love each other from the heart? Really? After all the hurt and pain? After all the trauma and the suffering? Still do it? And settle into doing it?
Yet His path to peace and expression of being peace calls first for the unsettling. And then, just when we think we can get to a place of being settled and comfortable in what we think we know of Him …
Welcome to the path of peace where you invite the reality of growing by getting unsettled.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden