Sometimes life can be quite inhospitable. There is news you never expect to hear. Bad news. Unspeakable news. And whatever that happens to be (fill in the blank here), there are questions to ask. What does this mean for me? What am I to learn?
I am asking these questions now. It doesn't really matter what I placed in the blank line. I am faced with how I choose to respond to life's unwelcomed events. I select rest. I fight to rest. And this decision is a battle. In some ways, an anxious, fearful reaction would be easier. That is where my emotions want to go--to fling me into the realm of self-pity and worry. I would shake my fist and shout, "No it's not fair." Yet, I believe it is important to walk toward an opposite response to survive this austere geography where my fingers are numb, my lips blue. Frozen.
For me to stay warm, I must look to the One who can breathe on my winter and offer me warmth. And so this means...
Choosing to stay in the peace that is my reality--the other-worldly peace of Jesus.
Remembering that in every crisis of life, in Jesus, there is blessing, favor, grace, love and provision attached to the situation.
Allowing the help and support of people who love me, embracing their prayers and life-giving words of encouragement.
Speaking life over myself, God's Word like medicine.
Giving thanks, remaining grateful.
These five directives for rest remind me of the five stones that David picked up to slay Goliath. He did not wear armor that would weigh him down--advice given to him by well-intending people. Rather, he picked up stones--walking toward his opposite--as his most effective weapon against the giant. In this glacial locale, rest is my most effective weapon.
Yesterday, I walked, as I'm accustomed to doing, in my neighborhood filled up to the brim with God's creation. I had on headphones listening to Pandora. Outside the music, I heard another sound. I removed the headphones and realized the melody I heard was a chorus of birds. And everywhere I looked, I saw birds sitting on tree branches, hanging onto telephone wires sounding their voices. I turned off Pandora, lifted my face to their anthems, beginning to thaw. Rest. God's breath.
~Then He gives the command and it all melts; He breathes on winter--suddenly it's spring! (Psalm 147:20,The Message)