Take a real rest

Matthew 11:28-30, ‘Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.’ (MSG)

This verse has appeared to me twice in one week. First when I picked up the Robin Gunn book “Sisterchicks Learn to Do the Hula” and second, the day after I finished reading the book (today) in my daily devotional email from Proverbs 31 Ministries.

I can answer yes to those first three questions. I crave to get away and recover life. To learn how to take a real rest. (Rest, such a foreign word but one that when spoken inwardly inspires a centered calm to spread out from my heart to my fingertips and toes.) To walk with God (to hold His hand). To watch and see how He does it… so good! To learn the unforced rhythms of grace – doesn’t that sound beautiful? He promises to not give me anything too big or overwhelming – a promise?! Wow. I like the sound of that. I can hang out with Him and learn to live free and light… as a bird. A bird, that’s what I think of when I think of living free and light.

Each night I’ve noticed the sound of the Whippoorwill and the Bobwhite. Both sounds are distinctive and herald the end of a long day – or a long day for me at least. In the quiet stillness of dusk, they call out their joyful thanksgivings to God for another beautiful day. I may have rushed around all day long searching for things and answers to complete my many projects or responsibilities, but in their call is a signal to be quiet and listen.

I listen for the echo of their mate, calling back to them from their hidden places. I think it’s like God with us, if we thank him and sing praises to His glory and allow Him to work in our lives, He will answer us. And teach us the “unforced rhythms of grace”. He will call back to us.

Those moments at dusk, and in prayer, sparkle. Those moments when He shows up and shows us the wonders of His work in our lives. Those moments of answered prayer, revealed promises and hugs and healing in times when we allow doubt or fear to creep in and steal our rightful joy.

I think about these questions again:

Are you tired?

Worn out?

Burned out on religion?

 

Are you unsure what a Bobwhite or Whipporwill sounds like? Click these links.

Bobwhite (Northern Bobwhite) http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Bobwhite/sounds

Whippoorwill (Whip-poor-will)  http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Whip-poor-will/sounds

Both of these birds’ calls invoke a memory of imitating them with my Grandpa. I loved to snuggle in his lap, fresh from a bath and warm in my jammies, and we would call back to these birds together. I learned how to whistle in his arms. This is probably why these bird calls invoke such a strong response from me, it’s like I’m in my Grandpa’s arms again and all is right with the world. So too is the feeling of safety when I’m in my Father God’s arms. He wants me to trust Him – to take a real rest.

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