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?
Welcome! We’re a group that gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We’re finding it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”
- It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
- It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
- It’s adventure at its best – as we learn to run the race in a power not our own.
17 thoughts on “R.I.P.”
II have thought about you so much. many prayers for you and all. You are so good to get away to refresh . I am picturing right where you were sitting at Pokagon. A very restful place.
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It was just the Doctor ordered. He is Great Physician.
So you’ve found that lovely place, too!
Brenda, may the God of peace reign in your heart! I love those times to get away and just rest in God’s peace that so overwhelms me. Blessings as you walk through the valley of the shadow of death and remember that He leads you by still waters.
Still, cool waters. Nothing refreshes us more than that.
Brenda, the glory of the Lord surely surrounds you, even in these heart-stretching, soul-strengthening days of surrender. Your words minister peace to my heart this morning. May you be filled with His ongoing Presence, both today and into all your tomorrows. Prayers for you and for your family.
His peace fills, sustains and takes us to new places. I know you know all about that.
Next time I’m in South Carolina …
My thoughts and prayers are with you Brenda. Take care and God bless!! Lorraine
Your prayers and care are precious.
Precious and powerful.
Rest is one of the most blessed things. God ordained a day of rest for His people. He also established a year of rest for His creation. He is serious about rest. In my life, rest come mostly when I get out of God’s way and let Him work….lead. If I don’t make life depend on me, I have peace. God calls me to trust Him. That’s hard when the world around seems out of control. Trust Him with my life, the lives of my kids and grandkids. Trust Him with salvation. If I trusted more I would find more rest….but my humanness gets in the way. Help me, Jesus!
We are in this together. We all get in the way when it comes to the Rest of God.
Help us, Lord Jesus. Help us, today.
Thought you’d enjoy this:
Philippians 4:6-9Amplified Bible (AMP)
6 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition ([a]definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
7 And God’s peace [shall be yours, that [b]tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall [c]garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
8 For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
9 Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of [d]untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.
My Amplified Bible is always close at hand. We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses that rises up through the centuries. Thank you. Thank you!
Rest in Peace, a dear women from our church went home to be with the Lord earlier this week. Her smile is embedded in my heart and heaven has a truly loving spirit within. Caroline was a blessing to all she met.
Her husband, Ken, went into ICU yesterday, he is viewing Caroline’s wake via an I-Pad. He will view the funeral from his I-Pad too. Timing, too late to change the plans, his family is in Buffalo, but God is working. Ken has liver disease, he was fighting only to take care of his sweet Caroline. God took her gently almost as telling Ken, “I got her, I’ve got you. Rest Ken, Rest. Caroline has peace.”
I don’t know Ken’s immediate future, I am praying for him, for his family. I do know both lived a long wonderful life together with the Lord.
Praise God for their relationship with God….I’m sure their lives touched many and show true love. Love can only truly be shown through Jesus. What a blessing to live now and forever with Him. How are YOU doing, Erin? I think of you often and whisper a prayer. Sleep close to Jesus tonight.
wow. To have smiles embedded within our hearts. What a gift. Lifting up a prayer for Ken as he rests in peace this week…May it be a gift for his entire family as they run this leg of the race.
Betty I am doing well, just taking life moment by moment; knowing the Lord is with me at every moment., Thankfully the Lord has blessed with outlets when life takes me for a loop. Funerals send me to keys (type). I wrote this for Caroline.
Friends are like flowers
They come in an array of colors, in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
They have their own scent, reach for the sun and thirst for water.
Some are unique; a once in a life time experience,
while others appear annually (the ones we know will come back).
The weeds even look good in a field, although sometimes we have to weed out the garden.
The best one leave seeds spreading their love across the earth and into our hearts.
You too have been in my heart.