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, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.” Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! - Isaiah 30:15-18
Indeed, there are times when “riding off on swift horses” looks like a great option—when the demands upon us seem to far outweigh the resources with us; when we reach our emotional limits and exhaust our mental reserves; when tired gives way to “attitude” and patience gives way to pettiness. Even then, you woo us to yourself--especially then, we need you.
The call to repentance and rest, and quietness and trust comes to us like a kiss from heaven. Jesus, on this Valentine’s Day, we find great comfort in your pursing love. You are truly the lover for which we most earnestly long. No one else can touch the deepest place in our hearts. O, for the centering power of a quiet spirit before you. O, for the strength of a heart at rest in you.
Jesus, I’m not facing the enemies Israel confronted in Isaiah’s day. The Assyrian and Babylonian armies aren’t on the horizon, coming at me in breakneck speed. I simply need, once again, to learn my limits. Help me say “Yes” to the right things and “No” to the unnecessary things, Jesus. Help me reestablish the rhythms of a gospel-driven life.
I repent of letting the tail wag the dog. I repent of letting needs dictate my pace. I repent of grabbing four more plates to spin than you intend. I repent of not honoring Sabbath rest. I repent of trying to be my own savior, yet again. I repent of thinking too much and praying too little.
I repent of listening to the squawking voices of human parakeets more than the comforting voice of the blessed Paraklete—God the Holy Spirit. I repent doing more things for you than spending unrushed time with you.
Jesus, right now, we choose to wait for you. As you rise to show us compassion, we will sit down, shut us, be still and let you. We pray with great anticipation, in your merciful and mighty name.