R.I.P 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 and 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 echoes 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 is not bound. It is not out of reach. It is within our grasp, here, now, through storm, flood, fire and furnace, through ache, anguish, and unknown.
It is ours when the Spirit invades 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.
This post was written in 2014. Here is a 2018 update: Josh is still in hospice, – a literal “walking miracle”, Joe is on solid ground after two unexpected surgeries this past August, my dad is with Jesus, and I still cherish days of resting in peace. October is my favorite month to do so. I am making plans! How about you? Can you step away for a quiet hour or two sometime soon? Seize the day!
Welcome! We are a group that gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We find it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”
- It is 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 is 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 is adventure at its best – as we learn to run the race in a power not our own.
The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace. Psalm 29:11