All that is required, at its most basic, is a turning to the Lord. Whether I am a mass murderer or am disconnected from God because I’ve been so busy, all that is required is a turning to the Lord. This turning is a heart shift towards God. It includes a vulnerability, a need of help, a contrite heart, a humility and a trust that God can do for us, that Jesus has already done for us, what we cannot do for ourselves.
It assumes a letting go of our own effort, with an intention of dependancy on the Lord, a reckoning of our humanity and our own best efforts as loss. Namely, we turn to God to save us and to lift the burden of our sin, dismay, fear, and to restore us, heal us, and enter us into himself. We long for righteousness and holiness, knowing that only in God are these things found. We are sick of sin and loss, sick of worry and dread, sick of doubling-down on effort, sick of religion, sick of evil, sick of our own goodness (that is no goodness at all).
It is God that is our answer. The oil of the Lord is flowing from the throne-room of God. Enter in. Dare to come, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Chapter 4 of Hebrews speaks of entering into the rest of the Lord. Of ceasing from our labours (some of which is our self-effort to save ourselves, to manage our lives, to make things right) and trusting in the work of God that was accomplished at the creation of the world. vs.3.
I recall being a young mom with many littles, and this injunction to partake of a sabbath day, a physical day of rest from the concerns and needs, the unending demands of life, took some intention and courage. Taking a sabbath day was an act of trust for me. It was possible only as I entrusted my next week to God. The challenge required me to understand that the work would never end, but that I could set the demands aside for a day and rest.
This rest of God comes as a physical, in-time, practical, ceasing from the hustle. In my heart it is the same but more. My soul can find it’s peace and joy and rest in the presence and companionship of God. While the world has its trouble I can be quiet, without rushing, in the Lord. As we practice this week by week we find that the world or our own circumstances have no hold on us. God has the last say regarding our lives and in God we trust.
And so, we turn to God. We set down fretting and we settle our gaze on the Lord. We bring our illness and look to the one who heals. We bring our family along with us into the throne-room of God. We put our sin at the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. We take pause to give thanks, to allow gratitude to flood our being, to say a simple Amen to all that is beautiful around us. We welcome Holy Spirit.
Are you afraid, turn to God. Are you convicted of sin, turn to God. Are you ashamed and embarrassed, turn to God. Are you unsure of your future, turn to God. Are you worried, turn to God. Are you unclear of what to do next, turn to God.
Pause, and turn to the one who created you, sustains you, loves you.
A turning is all it takes. Turn to God and find life.