In Quietness and Rest

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)

I spent time yesterday just being at the ocean’s edge, watching the waves come and go. 

Occasionally a group of pelicans would fly silently overhead. 

Lying down, I could see jet streams from time to time streak across the cloudless blue sky above me. 

It was windy and cool. 

Walking barefoot into the shallow water the cold water moved sparking sand past me as each wave receded back into the sea. 

It was good to be quiet. 

I read from the Bible and from a book on praise. 

I have found that I need quietness. 

Time to listen. 

Time to rest….

Quiet and at Rest

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What is there to worry about?

Plenty of things.

Yet, worrying won’t change them.

It won’t help at all.

Sometimes, it’s just good for me to walk around outside–even if it is just in my own yard–and look at the fascinating creations of God that are right there.

Flowers, butterflies, tiny blooms on weeds.

Birds flying overhead, lizards scurrying about, dragonflies that come to hover near me.

There, I find a calm and a respite from responsibilities, if only for a short while.

I have been praying lately about many things, wanting to trust God with people and situations, instead of worrying.

God is in control.

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Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank Him for his answers.  If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 4:6-7

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hearts quiet

Listen to My Voice

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It’s been a rainy afternoon—the kind that throws your sense of time off a bit because it looks like dusk at three o’clock.

My basset hound had the look about her that begged for a walk, so with leash in hand, we ventured outside.

A few feet into the yard, I became aware of the slightest sound of wind chimes delicately moving in the breeze.

Immediately, I was aware that it was quiet enough for my ears to acknowledge them.

With my mind in comparison mode, my thoughts quickly ran to an experience from just days ago.

I had been staying at a hotel near the ocean with friends for some much needed rest and calm.

The hotel had a very nice pool for its guests to enjoy, along with scheduled poolside events throughout the week.

Along with things like water games, hula hoop contests and making your own tie-dyed shirt, they also offered a game where those participating were given a card with numbers.

During that activity, everyone had to be very quiet to see if a number on their card was being announced.

On this particular occasion, my friends and I were not involved in the game.

Sitting almost at the edge of the pool deck, we were talking together when it happened—-

I noticed that the noise was gone.

Suddenly, everyone had stopped talking, listening only for the voice of the game announcer.

The significant thing to me–even then–was that I hadn’t even noticed that there WAS any noise, until it stopped.

I had grown used to the clutter of sounds around me, adapting my hearing to only selected conversation.

What would it take for me to really listen for God?

For all the noise to cease, listening only for His voice, like the delicate tones of wind chimes on a quiet, rainy day?

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My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.

–John 10:27

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listen

Be Still

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Friday night, some of my friends wanted to go out to see a movie.

I didn’t want to go.

There was this compelling idea of staying home and being less busy.

Maybe even quiet.

Yesterday and today, there was a nearby nature festival with a lot of photo opportunities and things to learn.

A friend invited me.

I decided not to go.

Instead, I quietly trimmed limbs from the trees in my yard.

Not talking to anyone.

Sometimes praying.

Sometimes singing.

Trying to listen for what God might be telling me.

After church this morning, I looked forward to coming home with more time to be quiet and thoughtful.

Sitting in a chair, writing some things down as I pondered, I saw a butterfly through the window fluttering around a blooming bush outside.

I am thankful for the past two days.

Intentionally slower days.

Decidedly quieter days.

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be still

Get Some Rest

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On the way to the group meeting, I listened to the radio in the car.

It was a familiar drive to my friend’s home, so being in a sort of “auto pilot” mode, I caught glances of the early evening sky and sang along in my mind with the music.

After arriving at my destination, I enjoyed some finger foods and light conversation.

The next hours were composed of considering our individual hearts and what might be keeping us from living wholehearted lives.

Embedded in those hours was a thirty minute time frame of complete quiet and reflection before God.

As I considered what was coming to my mind, I wrote some thoughts on paper.

Thirty minutes went by at an incredibly quick pace.

Not only was I quiet, but I was basically still, as well, with only movements confined to the couch I was on.

Rest.
Reflection.

Quietness.

Stillness.

Honestly, that’s not a place I find myself in most of the time.

It is, however, a place that I think God would want me to occupy more often.

A time to hear His words.

A time to remove the rambling clutter of the daily routine to just…..listen.

Consider this passage:

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.  Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.

–Mark 6:30-32

There are times when—-

We all need to rest.

We all need a quiet place.

We all need to come to Jesus by ourselves.

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quiet place