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….

Give You Rest

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

—Matthew 11:28

 

 

There is a popular song out now that speaks about the extreme hurry people seem to always be in.

Tight schedules.

Too much to do.

No free time.

Pressure from all sides.

The lyrics paint the picture of this kind of life, then they simply say:

Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at My feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe

(Breathe–Jonny Diaz)

A few mornings ago, I think I woke up with this song on my mind.

Instead of “breathe, just breathe” or “and be, just be” I was thinking,

“Me, just Me. Chaos calls, but all you really need is just Me.”

Just Jesus.

He’s all we really need.

Shouldn’t we just take the time to go to Jesus with all our concerns?

Time to reflect on His goodness and His love?

 

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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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Struggling Hard

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It was time for an oil change in my car.

I knew where I needed to take it for repairs and maintenance.

Turning into the dealership parking lot, I was just behind a towing truck.

Bringing a car to be repaired in some way, the little red vehicle rolled along with the power of the truck, with no strength of its own engine engaged.

Almost immediately, I began to think of people, not cars and trucks.

You know them, don’t you?

Those people who are tired and lonely.

Their strength is waning and they’re just about to give up hope.

Asking help for their hurting hearts is almost as impossible as a stranded car asking for a mechanic.

Someone who sees the need will have to make the first move.

Carefully and lovingly, they can be brought to the “lot” where a second chance at life exists.

There they will find that God has the repairs all planned out.

And the cost?

It was completely paid for—-by Jesus, Himself.

Are you the “someone” that sees the need in a lonely heart today?

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give you rest

Only In God

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Only in God do I find rest;
    my salvation comes from Him.

–Psalm 62:1

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A white rocking chair sits near the old hotel, carefully placed by a stone wall surrounding part of the property.

The small flowers growing beside it add a quiet touch of pink to the scene.

Even though the setting is inviting, it cannot create a peaceful heart in someone sitting there.

The inner awareness that God loves us tremendously brings our souls to experience calm in that deep place within us where His Spirit abides.

Whether we are sitting in a rocking chair by a stone wall or an airplane seat thousands of feet high, we can know God’s peace.

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I Will Give You Rest

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I have a friend who has a restful looking hammock in her backyard.

Is it possible to look at a hammock and not think about resting?

When we come in from a long day at work and we are finally able to lie down, a sweet feeling of relief ensues.

Many people cannot find emotional and spiritual rest.

Tired and weary of pain from the past.

Weighed down by shame and guilt.

Unsettled.

Looking this way and that, could there be a way to rest?

Jesus says He will give us rest.

He says that He will give us rest for our souls.

Nothing else will work.

He is the only answer to the burdens that we carry.

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 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

—Matthew 11:27-30

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rest

Your Strength

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It wasn’t exactly a tree house, although it was certainly nestled in the trees.

The weathered wood of the simple structure blended in well with the flowering branches surrounding it.

More of a tiny house on stilts, it stood high off the ground.

Spanish moss draped serenely from the trees.

Dried leaves had fallen to the sloping roof, settling down to form a rust colored carpet to match the blooms above it.

Who spends time up there?

What do they do?

Is it a neighborhood clubhouse for children?

An artist’s workshop?

Perhaps a quiet place for reflection and  prayer.

Taking time to listen for God’s direction is very important.

As recorded in the Old Testament book of Isaiah, God spoke to the children of Israel:

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength,
    but you would have none of it.”

—Chapter 30, verse 15

Repentance.

Rest.

Quietness.

Trust.

The words seem to reach out and beckon us to come closer.

Closer to knowing God more fully.

Closer to inner peace.

I may not have a tree house, but I can still find a place to……..

listen.

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quietness

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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