For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling.—ISAIAH 30:15 ESV
Some of the saddest words in the Bible are found at the end of Isaiah 30:15: “But you were unwilling.” Here the Lord sets before His people a simple formula to the extreme difficulties of life they were experiencing. By returning to God’s ways and resting in Him, they could be safe from the enemies who sought to destroy them. In quieting their spirits and trusting in God, they could be strengthened for the battles ahead. But they were unwilling. Instead they wanted to flee God’s presence.
Frances Ridley Havergal’s devotion to God throughout her short life is seen in her many hymns. The nineteenth-century Englishwoman’s life was riddled with pain and sickness, yet she sought the Lord through it all. In her hymn “Like a River Glorious,” she depicts the peace and rest God offers as a mighty river, growing fuller and deeper each day. The refrain summarizes God’s promise to each of us: “Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest; finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.”