"God is rest, and where He dwells is stillness."
-Freda Hanbury Allen

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you...But when you ask him, make sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waiver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind...Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do...
Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father...He never changes or casts a shifting shadow."
                 James 1:5-6, 8, 17

           "If any of you lacks wisdom..." James was being polite when he phrased it this way, because we all find ourselves overwhelmed at times in the throws of uncertainty, unsure what to do, what to even think. Our need for wisdom stems from the reality of our human frailty and the trials and trouble that come through the events of time. Nothing is static. Everything changes - sometimes slowly, sometimes at breakneck speed, and sometimes in a split second blink of an eye. And yet we are called to be steadfast, settled, stable in the midst of a constantly shifting and changing existence. How in the world - this time-whipped, time-bound, life-altering world do we stand steady, sure-footed and still? How, as it says in Proverbs, do we "laugh at the days to come", knowing full well what that can mean at any given moment?
         Faith. Within the depths of God's wisdom and love he intentionally made Faith the cornerstone of our lives and well being. There is no salvation apart from it, and no true "living" without it. Graciously, out of the generous heart of God, he gives us the very gift of Faith through which all of His other good and perfect gifts come, including wisdom. We are not left to conjure it, earn it, or somehow create it. But we are given the choice whether or not to walk in it.
         There are different ways of seeing, of looking at our lives and the world. One way gives us spiritual eyes of faith that allow us to live at peace in the midst of the constant change and loss, keeping eternity in view. The other way clouds our spiritual vision and keeps us focused on the world, trying to make what can't last be eternal. It is this view that can make us believe that what we see slipping away is what we should grab a hold of and try to save, or it can cause us to throw up our hands, give up and give in - to quit. This is where we end up being blown and tossed, because in our humanness, on any given day - even within milli-second moments,  we swing back and forth between the two - clawing and grabbing or giving up. We so badly don't want to be vulnerable, to hurt, to lose, to have to adjust to more change, to mourn more of what we can't have or ever get back. We want time to stop just enough to recoup some of our losses, regain some sense of control, grasp anything we can, when all the while it is our unseen Abba Father, who never changes, that we should cling to. He, after all, is already holding us in his eternal grip. This is wisdom, true wisdom - letting ourselves be held, and clinging to Him alone who is the Unchanging One. It is in this sacred place of surrender, born out of love and faith, that we become settled and at rest, able to truly live.