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Rest

”God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.”                                       Psalm 23:1-3 (The Message)

How many times do I run myself ragged trying to accomplish everything I’ve added to my list of to-do’s, only to come to the end of the day emotionally and physically exhausted with the realization I’m going to do the same thing again tomorrow?  How many times do I commit myself to things that nag for my attention, but really aren’t important, and then find myself coming up short when it’s time to attend to the things that are?
I’d hit a wall.  Physically, emotionally, mentally…I just could not keep up.  Whether I wanted to or not, it was time to rest.  I knew I couldn’t quit or walk away from my commitments, but I needed to set some boundaries and find some time in my schedule for me.  With my husband’s retirement coming up, and summer break beginning for the kids, I made a commitment to not make any commitments for one month.  As I write this today, there are only two days left in my month of “commitment-free living”.

I wish I could tell you in this brief message all that God has revealed to my heart.  I wish I could share with you the quiet moments I heard the Holy Spirit’s whisper and the refreshing moments when I could feel Jesus’ smile.  I wish (selfishly) I could bottle up all those moments and swallow a dose of them when I’ve exhausted myself again, because I’m afraid that in this world, I might be swept away again in the chaos and confusion of the things that pull for my attention.
But the words above – particularly this version from The Message – reveal to me what the Good Shepherd desires for my soul.  He makes me lie down in lush meadows – so that what I need is not far away.  He finds me quiet pools to drink from – so that my thirst is quenched, and my soul restored. He allows me to catch my breath – He stands guard, so I may rest with peace.  He sends me in the right direction – for He knows the path I should take.

It’s not difficult to understand what God wants for you, but sometimes it is difficult to see it – especially when we don’t set aside the time to look for it.  I think that is really what this last month has given me.  I’ve had a chance to catch my breath, to see clearly the path God has set before me, and to find the rest my soul has been craving – rest that can only be found in the One who fully restores.

Dear Father,

Thank you for rest.  Please forgive me for the times I try to do more than I should.  Please help me to see how much more I can accomplish for your kingdom when my soul is restored. Watch over me, and those I love, so we can start anew and be obedient to Your will.
In Your Holy Name,
Amen

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