in quietness and trust is your strength
Our work is an important part of our identity. We have a legitimate need to contribute and to feel competent. Too often, however, this legitimate need is distorted by a compulsion to work. We work and work and work because we want to prove ourselves, because we want to feel capable and strong. When our identity and value are primarily wrapped up in our productivity it provides us with an appearance of strength. But this strength does not go deep - it is only a matter of appearances. The more we achieve or produce, the more anxious we become. We wonder when it will all come crashing down. We wonder when we will be 'found out'.
This text suggests that strength comes from other sources. Probably the most surprising suggestions are that strength comes from quietness and salvation comes from rest. Why would rest and quietness be so important?
Salvation is not possible when we are in charge because we are not the Messiah. We cannot save the world. We cannot even save ourselves. When we rest, we are forced to abandon our messianic illusions. When we rest we accept our place as creatures in need of being saved by someone with power greater than our own. When we do this, repentance comes and salvation is possible.
Quietness has a similar effect. We cannot hear what God has to say when our lives are full of noise. The frenzy of life can drown out God's voice. But when we rest, we can again hear God's voice. And it is God's words of love that can make us strong.
Lord, I am not very strong.
All my striving, and doing and proving
haven't made me strong.
I long for the deep strength
that comes from quietness
and from trust.
I rest my weary soul in you today, Lord.
Give me the courage to be quiet.
Give me the faith to trust in you.
Strengthen me today
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery