Quiet Rest

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”. – (Matthew 11:28, HCSB)

“Come to Me all of you who are tired from the heavy burden you have been forced to carry. I will give you rest.” – (Matthew 11:28, ERV)

Then Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” – (Matthew 11:28, NLT)

Sometimes, it feels as if we are blissfully unaware of just how weary and burdened we have become. There is nothing like a good winter snowstorm to bring a sort of quiet rest that would not have otherwise been present. Though I have a four-wheel drive vehicle and loads of experience driving in the snow, I still find that I am spending far more time at home than I normally would be. It is almost as though messy roads and peaceful settings provide a sort of permission to just be still. I know for many that is not necessarily so, as my husband is one who needs to be at work to help keep all of the emergency and snow-clearing vehicles running, and emergency service personnel do not get a break in inclement weather, but for me and many that I know, it is a space to slow down and find rest. Even in the busiest seasons, when we seek our Savior, He provides the help, strength and rest that we need to persevere. May we look to the Lord and seek Him first, for He is the One that bears the burdens that are too much for us, and grants us rest when we need it the most.

Jesus says to come,

To weary and worn;

He wants to grant rest,

Bring calm in the storm.

We need to seek Him,

And trust in His grace;

For He’s our comfort,

And most peaceful place.

Just as snow softens,

And silences things;

The love of the Lord,

Helps everything.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us unto Yourself to find rest from our weariness. Thank You that as we call on You, You carry what was not meant for us, and provide rest so that we can press on. Forgive us for not seeking You in our spaces of weariness. Teach us to turn to You in trust, for You help us and strengthen us, and show us what is not ours to carry. Show us how to love those around us well, so that all might see Your light and love through all that we say and do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to find rest and equip us to love best. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. – Psalm 23:2

He Calms the Storms

Boat embarking

image by Steve Wickham

image by Steve Wickham

to cross the lake
familiar route
they’d often take.
Sleeping Savior
sudden squall –
raging storm,
frightened call.
“Master, Master,
we will drown,
the boat is swamped –
we’re going down.”
“Where’s your faith?”
Jesus then did stand and say,
“Be still,”
and all that raged, obeyed.
In fear and awe they wondered,
Who is He?
He speaks silence to the wind,
and calms the sea.
(my response to Luke 8:22-25)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The very same Savior that spoke to the storm and calmed the sea, dwells in the hearts of all who believe.  There is no squall too strong for Him, nor circumstance too great to separate us from His love, His presence, nor His peace.  He is our hope in the heartache and our calm in the storm.  Be still, and you will know that He is near.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our powerful and present Peace, even when life’s storms surround us.  Thank You that You are our Comfort and our Strength.  Forgive us for worrying about how much water we are taking on, rather than recognizing that You are in the boat with us, and will surely keep us afloat.  Teach us to trust You more in both the still waters and in the raging seas.  Lead us in love, so that we may offer Your beacon of Light to those who are lost in life’s storms.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Storms, Shipwrecks, Snakes and Strangers

“But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.” – Acts 28:5

photo by Desi Colours

The context of this verse is when Paul was on his way to appear before Caesar and the crew of the ship on which he was sailing insisted on continuing in dangerous seas, despite Paul’s warning.  All those aboard made it safely to shore when the ship was wrecked, and they were welcomed by the locals upon arrival.  After that ordeal, as Paul was gathering wood to place on the fire, a viper latched onto his hand.  Can you imagine the scene unfolding as the locals and the ship’s crew looked on in horror?  Paul, in full faith that his Heavenly Father was holding him, calmly shook the snake from his hand into the fire, and carried on as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.  The onlookers watched and waited for the toxic venom to take effect.  Expecting any moment for the man before them to drop dead, I can only imagine the awe and wonder that was developing, as no harm nor ill effect inflicted Paul.
                                                                                                                                                                                             What this particular account of Paul’s journey provides for me is the reminder that what God has promised, He will be faithful to fulfill.  Though storms and shipwrecks, snakes and strangers might happen between the promise and the fulfillment, God will always be true to His word.  He equips us with strength to survive the storms and the resilience to dance in the rain.  He reminds us of His redemption when our minds need renewing, and His grace grows our gumption to keep going.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are ALWAYS faithful to do as You say You will do.  Thank You that “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from Your love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)  Forgive us for our faith that falters in the floods, and form in us a firm foundation of forever faith in You, that does not sway when the storms come.  Teach us to trust You to be our safe harbor, and our heavenly hope that holds fast in our hearts.  Heal the hurting and help our hope to be contagious.  Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present