“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I shall not be shaken. (Psalm 62:5-6)
After a particularly long, arduous week both physically, mentally and emotionally I awoke this morning with the words “find rest o my soul in God alone” going through my mind. I memorized this as a song a long time ago and the melody found itself in my mind this morning. It was just what I needed to start Monday. I quickly turned to the psalm that inspired this song. What a sweet breath, a gentle reminder that I had forgotten during the past week. I had been so wrapped up in the job, and the details, but my mindset was to please people, making sure everyone was happy. The truth of this hit me hard when I did not receive the affirmation and praise I had wanted or expected.
Expectations are a funny thing. Often you do not know they are there, until the thing you are expecting does not happen. On top of the exhaustion of mind, body and soul, my response did not exhibit a fruit of the spirit. Perspective was out the window and even though I knew the right way to think, It seemed impossible to change the path I was walking. All the wise advice I might give to someone else in this situation was long forgotten.
The danger began when I ceased even taking little breaks to breathe throughout the day, to stop, take an examen, listen. It was just go, go, go…looking for ways to “serve others” and then collapsing into bed each night exhausted. Better yet, my best service might be to step back on occasion throughout the tasks at hand, and examine my own soul.
Taking a sabbath rest for mind, body and soul is essential. It might be a breath in a time of conflict, stress, or fearful thoughts. Then again it may be the gift of time away alone, or a weekly practice. Jesus found it essential. He found time to be alone with His Father.
In Matthew 11:28 -30 we are invited to:
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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.”
My rhythm of rest is essential for my well-being, my relationship with God, and with others. It is interesting how it is one of the first things I neglect when life gets busy. There are so many things to be done every day and so few hours. If we do not stop and rest, stop and breathe, stop and smell the roses, life will end, and the list will still be undone. This conversation came up again with my husband, as we have talked about this before. I want to get everything done so I can truly enjoy rest and he is a big advocate of resting along the way. The truth is the list only gets longer, my time on earth gets shorter, and the soul rest so desperately needed still beckons me.
Prayer of Response
“‘Are you weary? Are you carrying heavy burdens? Have you neglected your own soul? Come to Jesus. With Him you will find rest for your soul.’ Lord Jesus help me not forget to find rest for my soul in you alone. Help me to remember that my soul finds strength in you, steadfastness in you, and rest in only you.”
—Submitted by Stephanie Edsall
Stephanie and her husband Mike work for the Navigators as Mobile Alongsiders, traveling to support and resource ministries in Western and Central Europe. Currently they live in Beverly, Massachusetts and spend their COVID time renovating a house, gardening, zooming with friends and colleagues in Europe, and being with family. Stephanie is on the Lifesprings Global Leadership Team and serves on the prayer team and conflict transformation team.