I’ve been in a season of anxiety. For a variety of reasons. Some I’m not even sure of. And the last few posts reveal my troubled spirit. So I read and reread today’s passages looking for something that would calm me down, assure me, give me rest.
Make haste, O God, to deliver me!
O Lord, make haste to help me!
… I am poor and needy;
hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
O Lord, do not delay! Psalm 70: 1, 5
Yes, I feel anxious and needy. So, Lord, make haste to deliver me.
But Jesus did that in Luke. He delivered the disciples and the man with the legions of demons.
…a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. Luke 8: 24
Jesus did that miracle hastily!! But not fast enough for the disciples who woke him in their fear. He chastised them for their lack of faith (maybe they should have waited for him to take action on his own?).
After the miracle, they “marveled.”
That’s it? They didn’t worship?
Then there’s the guy with the legions of demons. This man had waited a LONG time to be healed until Jesus took care of his demons – by casting them into the pigs.
This man’s response?
The man from whom the demons had gone begged that [Jesus] might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him. Luke 8:38-39
Now this guy didn’t just marvel, he begged to follow the One who healed him. And when Jesus told him to return home and declare God’s goodness, he did it. With haste!
Notice how Jesus told him to declare what God had done, yet the man told the whole city what Jesus had done. God = Jesus!
So, God can move in haste, but I need to trust him to move and not get impatient like the disciples. And when he does move, I will worship him for his goodness.
And I need rest. Soul rest from some torments. That’s what the Promised Land was for Israel: rest from enemies, rest from starvation. It’s a land flowing with milk and honey (Deut 11: 9) and a land in which God will give Israel safety (Deut 12: 10).
What’s the condition for this rest? “Love the Lord your God and keep his … commandments.” Deuteronomy 11: 1
It’s not like God was negotiating with Israel: You obey -> I bless. It’s more like: You obey means that you are NOT worshipping those other Gods and I can’t bless that – besides those other gods require you to serve them in awful ways, like killing your own kids. (Deut 12: 30-31)
So love and follow the one true God and you will find rest.
Today, I need God to hasten to help me with my restless, troubled spirit. I need to trust that He will take care of me, and then tell everyone of His goodness. And as I put Him first, I will rest.
Dear Lord: You know better than I do what troubles me, where this anxiety comes from. Hasten to help me. Heal me. Give me rest. Amen