Wings Like Eagles
Nearing the end our last summer of camp ministry, we were weary! Each week it tended to become harder and harder to keep our brains where they should be, focused on the camp at hand. Good, solid sleep became vitally essential, but somewhat elusive. Especially having a teething baby!
It’s interesting that it’s only when you are becoming weary that you become aware of your need for rest. It becomes the thing you yearn for and would give anything for. It’s almost like we forget that rest is available to us if we just come to Christ and ask. He wants to give it!
I think sometimes we think that rest can only happen when we finish our work. But, if that was the case, some of us would never be able to rest at all. There’s a great little analogy in The Indwelling Life of Christ by Major W. Ian Thomas about rest, and what it actually means.
“For 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.” (Isaiah 30:15)
He likens the Christian to someone toiling away, digging a hole. Now if someone came up to this hole digger and decided he needed some rest, he might offer a few things. He could give some pointers for more efficient hole digging, he “could sing a song about digging, or discuss all the latest philosophical thinking that might relate to it.” We see some of these approaches in Christianity today.
But, the only way to truly offer rest is to replace the person in the hole and dig for them. That is truly what Christ wants to do. His offer to us is “Get out, and let Me get in. Vacate, and let Me occupy. Drop the spade, and let Me dig!”
Christian rest is still active. The work still gets done, but it is Christ doing it through us.
“To ‘let go and to let God’ is not inactivity, but Christ-activity—God in action accomplishing divine purposes through human personality” Major W. Ian Thomas (The Indwelling life of Christ)
Now, I know that some of us can struggle terribly with this. We somehow think that if we just give it to God, nothing will happen; that we have to keep going in order to accomplish the task; that the act of giving up to God is passivity. If that is the case then perhaps we don’t trust God or the work of Christ the way we should; perhaps we don’t truly understand or trust His power and His competence.
There are so many verses that talk about “Christ in us”, but maybe a few of us who don’t really understand what that means or how it can actually play out in our day to day lives.
It becomes an act of daily/hourly/minute-by-minute surrender of our self and our will to Christ who is at work in us. It’s the clay being moldable and pliable in the Potter’s hands; earthen vessels “so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” (2 Cor. 4:10)
“For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
While it is hard to surrender, there is so much joy and peace to be had in ‘letting go and letting God’. When He has called us to something, there is a promise that He will do, but it takes ‘us’ getting out of the way to fully understand Christian rest.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)
Is God calling you to rest today? If so, will you let Him work?
*Originally posted on The Eddy Blog 2016