Blessed With Rest

Rest. This is not such a familiar term in my vernacular. I know I need it, yet like a small child that does not want to nap, I avoid rest as much as possible, fearing that if I actually slow down, I may never get back up again.

Normally, when my alarm sounds, I bound out of bed and begin my day with enthusiasm. (As I make my way to the cheerfully waiting coffee maker) This morning, I have no recollection of my alarm even sounding. It must have gone off, for when I awoke two and a half hours later than I normally do, my phone was buried beneath my pillow. Surprisingly, I did not feel panicked nor rushed, rather I felt something I have not felt in years – I actually woke feeling rested. I methodically made my way about the house, waking my boys, preparing each of us to exit in a timely manner, yet not once, did anxiousness enter in. It was all about efficiency and informing each boy about the time limit they had if they still wanted to make the quick stop that had been requested the night prior. Out the door we went at the time I had set before them, each of us ready to take on the day.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – (Matthew 11:28)

Though I do not intend to make this later rising time a habit, God knew what I needed today. Despite challenges that awaited me when I woke, I was much more resilient to face each one, because I was rested rather than run down. He will grant us rest, even at times when we don’t realize how desperately we need it. May we have open eyes and hearts to His calling us close, and allow Christ to grant us comfort and rest, as we give our every burden to He who is more than able to bear them all.

 

Oh Lord, grant us rest,butterfly vida

From burdens that come;

Please carry the weight,

so Your will is done.

When we are weary,

Lord give us Your rest;

For only in You,

can we be refreshed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we grow weary and worn, and at times don’t even recognize the reality of our own exhaustion, thank You that You see and know what we need far better than we do. Thank You that You provide as we abide. Forgive us for not taking time to slow down and simply rest in Your presence. Teach us to trust You more, so that we are more aware of when You are calling us to come close and simply be seated in Your presence. Lead us to love others well, just as You so generously pour out upon each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rest and find refreshment in You. Amen.

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

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

Calm in the Storm

On Sunday, my church family was presented with an assignment for the week, if we were so inclined to accept. As we study and review together who Jesus is, the challenge put forth is to spend the week reading through the book of Mark. This morning, through the reading of chapters 3-5, two passages presented parts of of the nature of who Jesus is, in mighty ways.

 

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. – (Mark 4:39) This first passage attests to both the power of Jesus, and how He is indeed worthy of our trust. Though the disciples were distressed and afraid in the sudden storm and panicked because Jesus was asleep, the moment they turned to Jesus, He stood, spoke, and all was still. The very same presence that silenced the storm, dwells within the hearts of all who believe. Wind and waves may toss us about, but Christ will keep us from going under. At times, He will calm the chaos around us, but more often, He will silence the storm within so that we are able to see the storm through His eyes, instead of our own.

 

The second passage that struck a chord with me this morning, is the interaction between Jesus and Jairus, the synagogue ruler, when men from his house brought news that his daughter had died. Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” – (Mark 5:36) Jesus is the God of comfort and compassion, and He does not want us to be afraid. I cannot imagine what must have gone through the mind of Jairus, as Jesus told him to “just believe.” Hope? Resolve? Curiosity? It was likely quite overwhelming and all a bit surreal. First, he knew his daughter was gravely ill. Then, Jairus was brought news that his daughter was dead. Now, standing before him, the Savior spoke hope that he could hold onto. Jesus is still the same today. When all seems hopeless, He is hope. Nothing is impossible for Him. He who set the stars in the sky and hand-crafted each human before their first cries were ever heard, can do immeasurably more than we can fathom.

 

He’s calm in the storm,Calm in the Storm

peace when there is none;

hope in the heartache,

our safe space to run.

He’ll speak to the wind,

and help us believe;

when fear overwhelms,

or our hearts are grieved.

Our Source of comfort,

when chaos, it reigns;

power to defeat,

death by Jesus’ Name.

Do not be afraid,

in Christ, just believe;

all that He offers,

is ours to receive.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus is powerful and worthy of all of our trust. Thank You too, Jesus, that You are comforting and compassionate. Thank You that You know us and love us, in spite of ourselves. Thank You that there is nothing that we face nor go through that You are not both present and able to walk us through. Forgive us for our fearfulness and lack of faith. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might lean into You all the more, rather than run or try to stand in our own strength in the storms. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they may see Your comfort, compassion and strength through us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your power to see us through the storms, and receive Your comfort when we are afraid. Amen.

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

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16