This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength . . . ” Isaiah 30: 15
Hopefully, we’re all beginning to feel the calm after the busyness and excitement of the Christmas holidays. We know there are many who couldn’t wait to take down their decorations and have probably already done so, while there are others who plan to enjoy them a little longer. Others are saddened that the season is over, while some are much relieved that it has come and gone, and they’ve returned to their daily routines. And then, New Year’s is only a few days away and some of you may be looking forward to having or attending parties or celebrations, and there is still a feeling of excitement in the air.
Whatever you’re feeling, or however, you’re spending these last few days of the year, hopefully on this Sabbath Day, we can all find time to sit back, rest in the quietness, and reflect on the time that has passed over the holidays and in the past year. What did we learn from our life experiences and our relationships with others? What will we do with those feelings of gratitude, peace, and joy that we experienced over the birth of the Christ child? Only God can help us see more clearly into our own hearts and souls and redirect us -if needed – as we go forward into the new year.
Quiet rest. Something that is much needed for all of us, and a gift God desires to give us as we rest in Him. This verse from Isaiah reminds us that if we turn our hearts to Him, we will find peace in His saving grace. As we rest in His stillness and trust in His faithfulness to us, we will find strength in His presence. What gifts that can be ours throughout the year if we will graciously receive them.
Now that Christmas is over, a different kind of busyness seems to take over our lives as we begin to focus on our daily schedules, our challenges, and our concerns. But when we go to Him in quiet rest, we can hear His calming voice. And it is His words of love and assurance that will make us strong. If we could only remember that we are the strongest when our reliance on Him is the greatest. And because we are His, we can trust in Him and have the confidence of knowing that He is always with us and that we can depend on His love and goodness.
As we prepare to enter the new year ahead, may we think about our lives, our hopes for the future, and especially about the time we spend with God. As we commit our hearts to Him, may we look forward to the new year with hope, purpose, and the assurance of His love and grace.
And may we always find quiet rest in Him.
Our most gracious and loving Father, we thank you for the rest and strength we can find in you. As we look to the new year ahead, may our hearts be filled with love and gratitude for your goodness to us and may we trust in your sovereign care. Amen