Sunday, May 20, 2012

Resting in the Faithful One

Hudson Taylor is famous for going through an experience that transformed his life and ministry. He described it as discovering that the Christian life wasn't about "striving and struggling to have faith, but resting in the faithful one." His experience is recounted in great detail in Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret and in the two-volume biography of him. I have read and re-read his experience, trying to understand it, and most of all trying to enter in to what it was that he found, but I have always puzzled over it.

Today I feel like I caught a glimpse.

Katherine and I were driving up to the lake to go kayaking, and she was telling me about how she, Monica, two friends, and Abbi (the dog) had all made it over to the rope swing using just two kayaks. (They had a person riding on the back of each kayak, and Katherine took two trips, one to take Abbi over, and one to go back and get Monica.)

Then Katherine said that on the way back, they were going to let Abbi swim the whole way alongside the kayaks, but she didn't want to.

"She was smart enough to know better than to try that," I commented. (It's a pretty long way from the boat dock to the rope swing.)

"Well, we could have held her up by the harness," Katherine said. It was true. Abbi's harness has a handle positioned precisely at the most useful point where you can grab it and lift up her entire body without putting any undue pressure on any one part.

I got a mental image of Abbi just relaxing limply into her harness while the girls paddled the kayaks across the lake. Then I wondered if she would swim frantically anyway and waste her energy needlessly.

Then I thought about Hudson Taylor's quote. "Not striving and struggling to have faith, but resting in the faithful one." God's strong arm has me by the handle, and he's not going to let go. He's going to get me across, get me through--everything. I can rest in that knowledge. I can relax in the realization that God is in control. I can trust Him. I could frantically flail around busily if I wanted to, but it won't get me any farther, any faster, than trusting Him and resting in Him.

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