Rest [Noval]

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10/8/16 

A rainy Saturday.  Hurricane Matthew is still assaulting the Carolinas and we’re going to be getting a lot of rain for the next 24 hours or so.  Karen Carpenter sang that rainy days and Mondays got her down, but I like ’em.  I think it’s the enforced quietness.  There’s no choice but to slow down, to rest.  Guilt-free rest is a good thing. 

God came in the flesh as Jesus and promised rest for our souls: “My yoke is  easy and My burden is light.”  

There is a kind of sloth that avoids responsibility and shirks (or tries to) the pain of living on a fallen planet, but the rest of God is not that.  It’s a renewing, an energizing, a drawing upon His life, His joy, His wisdom, His grace and peace. 

“He restores my soul”, David write.   The Psalms are full of heart-cries for God’s restoring love and grace. 

“As the deer pants for the water brook, so my soul longs for you.” 

“When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”

“Revive me according to Your word.” 

Lord, You are good.  Your mercy surrounds me.  Thank You for the privilege and opportunity to sit quietly in Your presence and receive from you. 

When I ask God for vision in moments like these, He often draws my mind’s eye to the beach.  Often it’s in the evening, when the tide’s out and the sunset is near. The shore has always been a healing, refreshing place for me and for Sheryl.  It’s why we make our annual trek to the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina.  I don’t want to sound too New Age-y, but it seems to me that God has infused the sound and smell and sight of the ocean surf with a kind of energy that restores and refreshes the heart in a unique and special way. 

And the really neat thing is that He’s given us this power of memory and visualization such that we can walk along the shore with Him almost any time, even if the ocean is physically a hundred miles or more away. 

Come to Me.  Walk with Me.  The more you draw from Me, drink from Me, the more you can offer others.  I’m calling you to be a vessel, a channel, a conduit- not a source.  I alone am the Source of life.  Rest for the soul comes when you cease striving to produce life in yourself, from yourself.  I am the Bread of Life.  Even the so-called spiritual disciplines of prayer, study, meditation, etc, can’t give you life.  But they can connect you to Me, the Life-giver. 

Cause me to come to Your river, O Lord. 

Cause me to come. 

Cause me to drink.

Cause me to live.

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