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Posts Tagged ‘rest’

I had a good friend and walking partner who used to put rocks in a backpack because I walked so much slower than her and she wanted a better workout. Unfortunately, most of us walk around with our backpack of life burdened with rocks that slow us down on our journey.

Our disappointments, expectations, failures, and even our quest for some elusive success can drive us to a place of being overwhelmed and overworked. Eventually we can end up completely done and exhausted.  For some it’s a matter of thinking they have to do it all and be it all to everyone or fix everything.  For others, it’s a feeling of emotionally empty and dry because they have not taken time to fill up or because they don’t understand that others will never live up to their expectations.

Every time we fail to look at and let go of the past (which is anything behind this moment), we add a rock to our backpack.   A rock of bitterness or unforgiveness, a rock of selfishness, a rock of compulsive behavior, a rock of constant activity to avoid pain, etc.

God never intended for us to be bent over with the burdens of life.  He has given us an open invitation to let go and move in freedom.  Matthew 11:28, 29:  “Come to Me, all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. ( I will ease and relieve and refresh your soul). Take My yoke on you and learn of Me. I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (relief, refreshment, recreation, and blessed quest for your souls.”  The scripture goes on to say that His way is wholesome, useful and good, comfortable and pleasant.

Once again, doesn’t mean that life is always easy.   Only that as we come to Him and learn His ways, we will not be overcome by the circumstances.  He moves us from anxiousness, confusion, and exhaustion to sweet, refreshing, quiet rest.

All we have to do is come!

 

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“He leads me beside the still and restful waters.”  Psalm 23:2

Summer is full of activity.  Vacations, camping, barbecues, yard work, etc.  It’s about fun and refreshment after the long winter season.

I never understood the wonder of being still and taking time outs to refocus and renew.  When I did, it was in the summer season.  I would sit outside in the sunshine, near some water and take time to journal and reflect.  It was during that time that the most personal growth of my life took place.

Here’s a few being still tips.

1. Find a quiet place and reflect on the things that are important to you at the core.  Journal about them and how you implement those things in your life.

2.  Find a place in the shade or sunshine that you can rest. Put on some quiet “soaking” music and clear your head.  Don’t think.  Just reflect on the music.  You might even fall asleep.  Let it take you where it takes you and you might be amazed at what you realize.

3.  Take your Bible and notebook and read outside.  Journal about how the verses you read apply to your life at this moment.

4.  Create a dream board.  Summer is the perfect time to be still and think about where you want to go in life.  Create a dream board with pictures and goals.  This will help you refocus on what is important.

5.  Don’t crowd out those quiet moments.  In the midst of activity, you can still “steal away” a moment or two of reflection.  While you are making a potato salad, “think” about Jesus.  While you are driving to the picnic, play a worship tape.  When you wake up take 5 minutes to meditate.

Hope you have many moments beside God’s still and restful waters!

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Psalm 23 is a great summer sip passage!   Can you picture a shepherd and his sheep on a summer day?

I love the analogy of Jesus being our shepherd.  Who better to feed, guide, and shield us from harm?   There is nothing we need or want that is not found in Him.

Verse 2 is our summer sip for today.  “He makes me lie down in fresh, tender green pastures:  He leads me beside the still and restful water.”

The first thing that caught my eye was that the pastures are fresh, tender, and green.   Left to our own ways, we often revisit the old, dry, stale places and things in life.   We look to the same old things to fill us or satisfy our hunger.  As one person put it, we do the same things over and over again, expecting a different result.

But our shepherd is different.  He understands the need for fresh places.  He knows the things that will really nourish and satisfy our souls.  His ways are new every morning.   He doesn’t feed us with stale bread.

When a sheep wanders away from the fold, they not only put themselves in danger but they risk not having the good food and restful places.

If you need a fresh start, the answer is clear.   Follow the Shepherd.   He’ll always take you to the fresh, green, tender grasses of life that will satisfy your hunger.   He’ll always lead you to the quiet, still, and restful water where you can center yourself again.

What can you do today to follow Jesus to fresh food and quiet water?

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