Monday, January 10, 2011


Give it a Rest!

Don't get me wrong—I love the beauty of winter. Frost sparkles like diamonds on every branch and twig. Pure white snow covers the dirt and grime of life. Critter tracks reveal new paths to food sources and hiding places. But when the temp plunges to zero and below, I chicken out and stay inside unless absolutely necessary. I admit, cold weather is good for our up-north environment. And it makes us appreciate hot summer days. But...I say, give it a rest!


Resting Places

The hike I took along a challenging trail offered much in the way of woodland beauty and delightful fragrance. The long hike, however, provided no place to rest my tired body. A couple of strategically-placed benches would have been welcome. I do intend to return, however, perhaps with my own portable chair that I can set up anywhere to rest and write and meditate.

Sometimes resting places are hard to find, such as the time my family and I waited in a long line to get into the Denver Mint. Likewise, waiting in a doctor’s office with a sick child, even while sitting in a comfortable chair, won’t bring rest for our anxiety. Or waiting for the proverbial “other shoe to drop” during a tense situation doesn’t bring a restful feeling, either.

Sometimes we have to look for a resting place for both body and soul. It might be in a quiet coffee shop away from our busy household. It could be in our bedroom with the door closed, or in the bathroom. We can be refreshed in a wilderness setting, too. Who hasn’t found spiritual rest on a quiet, scenic mountaintop or in a fishing boat away from noise and turmoil? Whatever it takes, we all need quiet resting places away from distractions.

Churches offer opportunities to rest our weary souls—through corporate praise and worship and through close fellowship with other believers. The best place to find soul-rest is in our so-called “prayer closet,” the place where we shut off everything around us and spend alone-time with the Lord. By simply closing our eyes and visualizing Jesus sitting across from us listening to our complaints and our joys, we can find great rest—even in the midst of turmoil and stress.

God instituted a weekly day of rest into one of His Ten Commandments. He knew we humans would get tired of the everyday grind of making a living. We can rest from our physical labors once a week as the Israelites did, but Jesus invites us to rest in Him as well—any time, any place, in any circumstance. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Lord, even as we seek quiet places of rest for our bodies, we ask for rest for our souls through Jesus. Thank You for Your gracious gift. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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