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Advent: Quiet

 12-24-11 Quiet

15For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, “In repentance and rest you will be saved,in quietness and trust is your strength.” But you were not willing,

When our first grandchild, Penelope, was born I created an ABC lullaby that was quite effective at calming her and lulling her to sleep. She heard it nearly every day for six months and then she and her mommy moved away. My second grandchild, Caden didn’t get to hear the song much since they lived away from us when he was little. When Asher came along he lived with us and even when he and his mommy got an apartment he came to see us nearly every day. Needless to say, Asher heard the lullaby almost daily. As calming as it was for him, singing it also calmed my spirit.

I have come to appreciate quiet and not just the quiet that comes after the kids are gone. I mean the stillness of a fresh morning when I whisper even to God. This has not always been the case. For far too many years I had way too much on my on my plate. Keeping myself busy, taking on more and more tasks earned me recognition at work and seemed to impress people. So I kept at it, all the while feeling a niggling in my spirit that whispered of my need for quiet and rest. But I was not willing, and the result was tragic. I’m still trying to put the pieces back together, but some days it really doesn’t feel like there any pieces to work with (see Isaiah 30:14).

Recently Asher was obviously needing a nap, but desperately fighting to stay awake. He had crawled up into my lap so I started to sing the ABC lullaby. Knowing that he didn’t want to go to sleep, he put his hand over my mouth and said, “No, Mema.” He knew if I continued to sing he would fall asleep and he just couldn’t afford to miss anything. Or so he thought. He had a miserable afternoon which resulted in his spending some time in Time Out where, finally alone, he fell asleep.

Just like I knew that Asher needed a nap, God knows what we need. He knew what the children of Israel needed, too. They foolishly wanted to put their confidence back in Egypt. They didn’t want to trust in God or his word. The prophet is warning them that they needed to return and find their rest, their satisfaction in God and his plan. They needed to surrender their disquieted spirit and find their strength in him. But they weren’t willing. Are you?

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