This last week I had the opportunity to “be there” for a number hurting people. The cares of this world are often crushing. Few are immune. This post, a repeat from July 7th, 2014, spoke to me today as I was processing through the pain of my dear friends.  May God meet you in those tender, fragile places, as he met me once again.

R.I.P – ‘rest in peace’ is a declaration of death, but what if it becomes a statement, a bold stance for life.

With a child in hospice, another facing chronic pain & disability and my dad battling stage 4 metastasized prostrate cancer, we are facing death head-on, day by day, hour by hour. The weight is no small thing. Heaving and straining, knees buckle, my breath is shallow and quick.

This past week, in a moment of inspiration, an unexpected opportunity for retreat emerged. So, today I am on retreat. My heart is pounding. Jesus’ invitation to ‘come away’ (Mark 6:31) is as real now as it was back then. It beckons and directs. It echos with David’s longing to ‘hurry away’ (Psalm 55:6-8).

Let me tell you, there was pedal to the metal my dear friends, as I pulled out of my driveway early this morning.

My ‘place of shelter’ was a grove of towering pines, a lakeside bench and a wicker chair nestled in a window-lined hallway at Pokagon State Park in northeast Indiana. An hour from our home, the car ride allowed me to unwind and disentangle. There, in a span of 5 hours, God took me from the ache of R.I.P. to the quieting, the whisper of “Brenda, rest in peace. It is mine to give. Yours to embrace.”

To rest in peace is the hope of heaven. But it’s not bound. It’s not out of reach. It’s within our grasp, here, now, through storm, flood, fire and furnace, through ache, anguish and unknown.

It is ours when the Spirit invaded the consuming darkness. He comes to us with authority to comfort, to hush our racing thoughts, to breathe new life into embers He will not let die.

For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel has said, ‘ You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence… Isaiah 30:15a (HCSB).

R.I.P. or ‘rest in peace.’ Which will it be?

A few quiet hours off the beaten path allows us to exchange one for the other.

First time here?

8 thoughts on “R.I.P.”

  1. This is where my thoughts have gone this early morning.

    I think again of my Abba. I am so grateful that the Holy Spirit has shown me Jesus. It’s through seeing Jesus that I have come to know God. I remember how time and again He has rescued me. He has brought me through so much. Once, I could see Him and hear Him. I sensed His Presence with me. Now, I know He here, but I don’t feel the tangible Presence I once did. By the work of the Spirit, I know the One I Love. I know He loves me. I know His beauty and goodness and care. I don’t question that. I don’t question Him. Once I sought my comfort in His Presence and in His arms. I looked for good to come to me. I looked for my desires getting fulfilled. Now, I look at His desires getting fulfilled. Strange how that has changed. The Word says that God brings about good in all situations to my good. So what is my good? Is it healing….health, wealth, pleasure? No!!! God forbid. What is for my good, then? Sharing in His sacrifice for others. Being employed in His office….called the world. Do I make a difference? Am I salt and light into His world? Will one person be changed because I know Who I have believed in? These questions are about me. God forgive me. Jesus never came to toot His own horn. He only did what the Father required, and it was enough. I will trust. I will wait. I will watch my Father and move at His bidding. What greater joy is there? And in this there is peace.

    • Betty — Yes!
      You wrote — “I will trust. I will wait. I will watch my Father and move at His bidding. What greater joy is there? And in this there is peace.”
      Amen. Amen!

    • And mine are with you! It is an amazing thing to be a part of the Body of Christ. May God’s peace be ours today.

  2. I experienced peace today while I rested on a bench outside Lutheran Life Villages while visiting with an elderly couple. I left there feeling rested and full of the peace only Jesus can give.

    • James, celebrating with you those quiet moments in the presence of Jesus, yesterday. He’s always there, but a little pause and a little quiet open us up to how near and dear He really is. May that bench and other places along the way become Holy Ground again and again.

  3. Oh Brenda, thank you. I will be praying for you and your family. Yes, God will s enough. I pray he will sustain you day by day. Thank you for sharing your insights with is. Thank you for coming to our Women’s Retreat this March. – Frances Schallhorn

    • Frances – Your prayers are a treasure! With eyes on Him and hearts at rest we TRUST Him hour by hour.


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