18 “Your own conduct and actions
have brought this on you.
This is your punishment.
How bitter it is!
How it pierces to the heart!”
19 Oh, my anguish, my anguish!
I writhe in pain.
Oh, the agony of my heart!
My heart pounds within me,
I cannot keep silent.
For I have heard the sound of the trumpet;
I have heard the battle cry.
20 Disaster follows disaster;
the whole land lies in ruins.
In an instant my tents are destroyed,
my shelter in a moment.
21 How long must I see the battle standard
and hear the sound of the trumpet?
There is unnatural stress and anxiety in this world. It seems that fears breed fears, that once we overcome one, another soon takes its place. We are surrounded on a daily basis by the things we have and don’t have. We struggle to maintain and protect what we have, and we fight for a place to earn and gain possession of things we long for.
While we realize that we should probably relax more, let things go faster, not strive to have all that we want and just be happy, who can really accomplish this genuinely? Perhaps for a limited period of time we can, but eventually we hear the sound of running out, having less or needing more. This is inevitable in our world and our hearts. We strive for what we cannot actually obtain on our own. We strive to satisfy our restless souls with everlasting peace; we strive to satisfy our unhappy hearts with eternal happiness that continues to elude us.
Although it is easier to point the finger and blame something other than ourselves for our restlessness, the truth is that we continues to choose our will over God’s that would lead us into the place where we desire rest and peace over anything else. God desires that we find true peace and happiness, but He also proclaims to us that only in a life united with Him and faith in His son Jesus can we find both. Until we yield to God’s will and authority in our lives we will forever sense the encroaching presence of pressure and strife as we seek to satisfy our souls in this world by ourselves. No person in human history has found the holy joy and peace that God offers apart from Him. Apart from God there is a private place in the heart of each person that longs for rest from the battle, to find what ultimately does not exist in this world. We are designed to know peace and happiness intimately. God desires that we rediscover our design and know peace and happiness. Will you continue to strive and fight? Will you stay on high alert awaiting the next wave that may or may not overtake you? Or, will you concede defeat in the fight for control and know victory in this world by accepting the control of the living God by faith in Jesus Christ?