I am just loving the words of Isaiah right now. I don't know why, but I was always afraid of the Book of Isaiah. In a way, I have always been a little afraid of the Old Testament... afraid I wouldn't understand it or be able to pronounce all those weird names. And most of my life I have considered it irrelevant because it was the Old Testament. But in my wiser years (ha! ha!) I have come to believe that every single word in the Bible was recorded for a reason and therefor holds importance and relevance even in these modern times.
So I have been reading the Book of Isaiah for the past several weeks, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It just seems to be a book of amazing promises and hope. This morning, I found this:
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. Isaiah 32: 17 - 18
I don't know if that strikes anyone else the way it struck me this morning, but all I could think was, "WOW." I've often heard of the peace of God - the peace that transcends all understanding. And to be honest, I just never got it. But I was missing a key piece - righteousness.
In my little Webster's dictionary that I've had since my freshman year of college, righteousness is defined as virtuous, devout. Well I'll be so bold as to say I've been none of the above in the past decade of my life. Maybe I've been devout to me, to my own agenda, to the desires and ways of this world. But I have definitely not been a devout woman of God. And that just may have something to do with the fact that I never have understood that peace the scriptures talk about... I wasn't living up to my end of the bargain.
I've really been challenging my way of thinking lately. Something is moving and growing within me - mainly my desire to live a life pleasing to my Lord and Savior instead of pleasing to the world. And to be quite honest, the promise of peace and confidence is reason enough to give it my best effort...
The promise in the scripture is so appealing - to live in a place of undisturbed rest. Undisturbed. I love that word - I think of it in terms of my kids and when I'm in the tub. Don't know what it is about me being in the bath tub, but the minute they hear that water running, a little light goes off in their head and they will either begin to fight or need something. But make no mistake about it, if my kids are in the house and I am in the tub, I will be disturbed. And it is not only disturbing but frustrating as well. I find myself saying, "Is there no place of peace for me - not even the bath tub???"
So I think about how nice the days are when I can bathe in silence. May sound silly to some, but that is the most peaceful time to me. There's nothing else going on. The bathroom is quiet, and I can just think about my day or whatever's going on and pray on things. I long for a quiet bath time. So when I read the words undisturbed places of rest it pulled my mind into a beautiful bathroom with a tub filled with warm water (almost hot, but not too hot) and silence. That's where my mind went. And to think that I can carry that place around with me in my heart forever and that's exactly the state of mind my Lord wants to give me - well, that thought is so exciting to me.