Tag Archives: Rest

Give it a Rest!

VICKI COURTNEY JANUARY 06, 2016

Give it a Rest!
VICKI COURTNEY

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’” Jeremiah 6:16a (NIV)

I stared out the window, my eyes filling with tears as the flight attendant gave her familiar pre-flight safety drill. It was the third time in a two-week period I had heard the same spiel. Minutes later as the plane raced down the runway, I thought about the irony of the moment.

I was headed to a women’s event to share a message on prioritizing the one thing we all need — time with Jesus. Yeah, right, I thought to myself. If the planning committee had followed me around for the past couple of months, they would have canceled the invitation and organized a Vicki Courtney book-burning.

Who was I to speak to women on the topic of finding rest for your souls when my own soul was on life support?

For as long as I can remember, I have been busy. As a young girl, I signed up for enough school clubs and extracurricular activities to keep me hopping every day of the week. It wasn’t enough to be on the cheer squad; I juggled class officer duties, student council and a part-time job. Oh, and homework. Come to think of it, never mind about the homework.

The only pace I knew was breakneck, and I carried it with me to college and eventually into my marriage and family life.

At times, I would make bold declarations to slow down. After I met a book deadline. After a busy season of speaking engagements came to a close. After my kids wrapped up a chaotic school year filled with activities. Yet, when after finally arrived, I had already filled the empty block of time with more activity.

When I wasn’t busy, I felt restless and ill at ease. When I was busy, I felt weary and in need of rest. It was a never-ending vicious cycle. I hated the pace, yet at the same time, I needed the pace.

It wasn’t until I hit a wall several years ago and suffered extreme burnout that I began to finally take a closer look at what was really going on beneath my habit of chronic busyness.

I was beyond quick-fix remedies like the familiar tips you might see in a magazine or devotional to “de-clutter your life.” Trust me, I had tried them all, and the results were always short-lived. My turning point came when I realized that my busyness was not the result of a scheduling problem but rather, a sin problem.

Somewhere along the way, I had based my worth and identity in performing, achieving, doing and serving. Ironically, true identity is found by resting in God and being conformed to His image, not running ourselves ragged in an attempt to find it on our own.

What robs your soul of rest? Unless we take a deeper look at the source of our chronic busyness and get honest with ourselves about the underlying motives, we will only be treating the symptoms instead of the problem. Until then, we might make minor tweaks and adjustments here and there to reduce our load, but our efforts will only provide a short-term solution.

When we say “yes” to too many other things, we are actually saying “no” to God. Which path will you choose at the crossroads of busyness and rest? God has shown us the “good way,” but it’s up to us to walk in it.

Father, thank You for showing us the good way in order that we might have rest for our souls. Give us the courage to change paths if the one we’re on has left us with little time for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Matthew 11:28-30, “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.” (NIV)

Psalm 46:10, “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Are you ready to take a deeper look at the enemies that rob you of rest in your soul? If so, Vicki Courtney’s new book, Rest Assured: A Recovery Plan for Weary Souls can help.

Also, be sure to visit Vicki’s blog at VickiCourtney.com and sign up for her e-letter.

Enter to WIN a copy of Rest Assured by Vicki Courtney. In celebration of this book, Vicki’s publisher is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here and let us know what robs your soul of rest. (We’ll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one by Monday, Jan.11.)

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Is chronic busyness a problem for you? If so, are you ready to stage an intervention on your life and take steps to redeem rest for your weary soul? List three specific steps you can take to begin the process.

© 2015 by Vicki Courtney. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Thomas Nelson Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

A Quiet Place to Rest

Karen Ehman

“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.'” Mark 6:31 (NIV)

“I want honey in my tea! And a lemon slice too! Oh, and can I use Great-Grandma’s teacup, pretty please? I’ll be careful,” my then five-year-old daughter sweetly asked as we were enjoying our afternoon mother-daughter ritual.

Each day while her two baby brothers napped, we pulled out china teacups and saucers from my collection and sipped herbal tea while I read a book out loud to her.

This afternoon she was asking permission to use an heirloom piece that had been passed down through four generations in my mother’s family. While I knew my little girl would be careful with the antique pink and white china cradled in her little hands, something else made me deny her request. I tried explaining it to her.

“Sweetheart, I know you’ll be careful, but we can’t have hot tea in that cup. It has cracks. See?”

I showed her a few tiny, hairline fractures on the side near the handle. It wasn’t cracked all the way through and could actually still hold water without leaking. However, if hot liquid were to be poured into it, the crack would give way, causing the petite cup to shatter. (Been there. Broke that!)

There was just no way for the fractured piece to withstand the stress of a steaming beverage.

Our emotional lives are much the same. When we don’t allow time to rest and regroup from the stresses of life, we allow cracks in our spirit that make us emotionally and spiritually fragile. We keep going at break-neck speeds, rarely slowing down long enough to be refreshed.

Mark 6:31 highlights the fact that even Jesus Himself found it important to get away for a while, to slow down and cease activity. The Bible records this event, “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'” (NIV).

Jesus urged His disciples to get to a quiet place. In doing so they would find rest. Being alone and quiet would restore their weary spirits.

For many of us, the stretch between Thanksgiving to New Years Day is a whirlwind of activity. In our fast-paced society, we rarely are intentional to create a quiet place and spend time resting. As a result, stress chisels away, creating tiny cracks that although barely visible, could cause us to shatter under the go-go-go pressures of everyday life, much less the holidays.

Let’s purpose to take time to slow down, get away, and rest. To find solitude in a hushed place alone with our Savior, even if only for an hour.

If we make time to answer Jesus’ call to go away with Him to a quiet place, we can crack-proof our spirits, making them strong and rendering us ready to handle life. A few quiet moments spent with Him can help make us strong enough to fulfill God’s assignments for us this season.

Dear Lord, help me intentionally carve out time to reconnect with You in a quiet spot. I know You are waiting. I want to seek Your face and find true rest. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Reflect and Respond:
Remember a time when you got away for rest and quiet. What did it do for you emotionally?

Why don’t you get alone or seek a quiet place more often? List some things, people, or activities that prevent you from doing so. Now, make plans to seek a quiet time soon. Write it on your calendar and keep your appointment with God.

Power Verse:
Matthew 7:25, “The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. (HCSB)

© 2013 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

A Quiet Place To Rest

Karen Ehman

“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.'” Mark 6:31 (NIV)

“I want honey in my tea! And a lemon slice too! Oh, and can I use great-grandma’s teacup, pretty please? I’ll be careful,” my then five-year-old daughter sweetly begged.

We were enjoying our afternoon mother-daughter ritual while her two baby brothers napped. Each day we pulled out china teacups and saucers from my collection and slowly sipped herbal tea while I read a book out loud to her.

This afternoon, however, she was asking permission to use an heirloom piece that had been passed down through four generations in my mother’s family. While I knew my baby girl was grown up enough to be careful with the antique pink and white china cradled in her little hands, something else made me deny her request. I tried explaining it to her.

“Sweetheart, I know you’ll be careful, but we can’t have hot tea in that cup. It has cracks. See?”

I showed her a few tiny, hairline fractures on the side near the handle. It wasn’t cracked all the way through and could actually still hold water without leaking. However, if hot liquid were to be poured into it, the crack would give way, causing the petite cup to shatter. (Been there. Broke that!)

There was just no way for the fractured piece to withstand the stress of a steaming beverage.

Our emotional lives are much the same. When we do not allow time to rest and regroup from the stresses of life, we allow cracks in our spirit that make us emotionally and spiritually fragile. We keep going at break-neck speeds, rarely slowing down long enough to be refreshed.

Today’s key verse highlights the fact that even Jesus Himself found it important to get away for a while; to slow down and cease activity. He urged His disciples to get to a quiet place. In doing so they would find rest. Being alone and quiet would help keep them whole.

In our fast-paced society we rarely get to sit in a quiet place. Televisions blare. Computers sound out webcasts. iPods and MP3s crank out music at times when we could be seeking solace.

As a result, stress chisels away, creating tiny cracks that although barely visible to the eye, could cause us to shatter under the heat and pressures of everyday life.

Let’s purpose to take time this week to slow down, get away, and rest. To find solitude in a hushed and holy place alone with our Savior, even if only for an hour or two.

If we make time to answer Jesus’ call to go away with Him to a quiet place, we can crack-proof our spirits, making them strong and rendering us ready to handle life. A few quiet moments spent with Him can help mend cracks, renewing and making us to be vessels strong enough to be used by Him.

Dear Lord, help me to intentionally carve out time this week to reconnect with You in a quiet spot. I know You are waiting. I want to seek Your face and find true rest. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Stressed-Less Living: Finding God’s Peace in Your Chaotic World by Tracie Miles

Reflect and Respond:
Remember a time when you got away for a time of rest and quiet. What did it do for you emotionally?

Why don’t we get alone or seek a quiet place more often? List some things, people, or activities that prevent us from doing so. Now, make plans to seek a quiet time soon. Write it on your calendar and keep your appointment with God.

Power Verse:
Matthew 7:25, “The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. (HCSB)

© 2012 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org