I'm reading "Keep a Quiet Heart" again. This wonderful devotional book by Elisabeth Elliot was a huge help and encouragement to me in my Christian walk about 10 or so years ago. Mrs. Eliot has that calmness of disposition that I so envy -- at least she seems to in her writing. Here are some tidbits from the Introduction:
"Our task is simply to trust and obey. This is what it means to love and worship Him."
[A poem she wrote as a young woman:]
"Lord, give to me a quiet heart
That does not ask to understand,
But confident steps forward in
The darkness guided by Thy hand."
"This was my heart's desire . . . A willing acceptance of all that God assigns and a glad surrender of all that I am and have constitute the key to receiving the gift of a quiet heart. Whenever I have balked, the quietness goes. It is restored,and life immeasurably simplified, when I have trusted and obeyed."
A few minutes ago, I read those words over and over: glad surrender of all I have; willing acceptance of all that God assigns; a quiet heart. I have learned many times to accept what God assigns. Move to Iowa? Sure, Lord! Move to Massachusetts? Surely, Lord! Teach high school? Yes! Homeschool? Of course, Lord.
Be unemployed? Uh. Please no, Lord.
But perhaps we have to surrender what is IN our hands, before we can accept what God is giving to us next.
I desperately, certainly long for that quiet heart, and I have definitely not had it lately. My heart has been disquieted to a degree that I can't sleep through the nights. I wake up worried at 4:00 AM. I'm exhausted. I can hear my Christian friends saying,"Trust, Mary Kathryn. Just trust Him." I know that is true. But it has nothing to do with knowledge. I am utterly exhausted already from having to do this before, over and over again. And I know that we haven't even started the hard trusting yet.
But as Mrs. Eliot says, the quiet heart will NOT come, until I decide to trust. Those of you who know me well, know it isn't because I haven't done this before. It's because I have. I was hoping I wouldn't have to do it again.
So, I'll read this little, helpful book, and maybe occasionally let you know what morsels of sweetness, or tartness, I find.