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Take Time to Rest

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.  Psalm 37:7 NKJV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.Down the hallway and through the church foyer, I hurried as if going to a fire. Two steps into the sanctuary, someone grabbed my arm. “Slow down. You look like you’re in attack mode.”

I was at it again. Focused on the tasks before me as the pastor’s administrative assistant. Oblivious to the people around me who needed my attention. And also unaware of my own need to stop and take a deep breath to keep myself from getting stressed out.

I’m a doer. Not a bad thing when balanced with rest, relaxation, and large doses of fun. The problem is this balance eludes me. I feel guilty when I’m not doing.

Several years ago, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands after two back-to-back surgeries. The latter involved my vision, so I couldn’t read, work on the computer, or exert myself in any way. Instead of allowing my spirit, soul, and body a time of rest and recuperation, I fought the downtime. I fretted over the slow healing process. I grumbled about the inability to do anything around the house. I even complained about missing so much time at work. Friends told me to stop worrying and to allow my body time to heal. Someone suggested I accept the downtime as a gift. My greatest need was to “rest in the Lord.” Unfortunately, I didn’t know how.

My prayer became, Teach me how to be still before You. As always, God was faithful. In those quiet, intimate moments with Him, I found exactly what I needed—acceptance, affirmation, and strength. He drew me close, watering my dry, thirsty soul and showing me my identity is not in what I do—but in who I am as His child.

Jesus is our example. He took time to get away by Himself and rest. Jesus hung out with His disciples. He shared meals with His friends. He even spent time playing games with the children.

Sometimes our misguided idea of what it takes to please God will ensnare us, putting us in bondage to a “works mentality” and stealing our peace and joy. Fortunately, He doesn’t require us to prove our worth by being constantly busy or by getting lost in the doing—while missing the rest found in simply being. Tremendous freedom resides in knowing we don’t have to earn God’s love or approval.

I’m ready to rest in the Lord. How about you?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Andrea Merrell

Andrea Merrell is an award-winning author and professional freelance editor. She is an associate editor with Christian Devotions Ministries and was a finalist for the 2016 Editor of the Year Award at BRMCWC and the 2018 Excellence in Editing award by the Christian Editors Network. Andrea is a graduate of Christian Communicators and was a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards and the 2018 Selah Awards, as well as a semi-finalist in the 2018 ACFW Genesis contest. She has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues, teaches workshops on writing and editing, and is the co-founder and regular contributor to www.TheWriteEditing.com, a blog designed specifically for writers. Andrea is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, Praying for the Prodigal, and Marriage: Make It or Break It. Contact her at www.AndreaMerrell.com.