Since summer arrived early this year, my kids were out playing with the neighbors yesterday. It was sweaty hot – and my baby was doing the tight rope walk (hands out to the side – as opposed to the gorilla walk with hands over head – hehe) all over the back yard and playground. She wanted to be where the action was, but it was like she was searching for cool. It was sweaty in the park, it was sweaty on the deck, by the other kids, when she tried to fan herself with her hands – it was sweaty everywhere!
Isaiah describes us being in a similar uncomfortable place, and our striving prayer doing nothing . . .
“LORD, they came to you in their distress; when you disciplined them, they could barely whisper a prayer. 17 As a pregnant woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we in your presence, LORD. 18 We were with child, we writhed in labor, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth, and the people of the world have not come to life.” (Isa. 26:16 NIV)
. . . Then my baby girl gave up trying to find cool, sat in the dust and just played with the twigs and grass. Finally, her brothers and sisters decided to turn on the hose, and see how much of the water bill we could waste – haha. Inevitably the battle ventured over to little Jolena and she got drenched in water – which was shocking and overwhelming for a minute. Then she realized that water meant cool and she decided to hang out right next to the hose :-). Isaiah continues . . .
“But your dead will live, LORD; their bodies will rise– let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy– your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.” (Isa. 26:19 NIV)
Striving to get cool in a hot environment doesn’t produce cool. We can fan ourselves furiously, and run ourselves around silly trying to produce enough wind to stay cool and we’re just going to produce more sweat. It can be this way in God’s presence – we strive and fret and fuss and fan ourselves when one thing is required – dying, laying down in the dust, and allowing God to recreate the environment in us through resurrection power.
Stay there. Stay in God’s presence, in His atmosphere of peace. Stop striving and let His resurrection power surge through your life again. That’s how we stay cool.