Wednesday, July 8, 2015

That Journey Toward Rest

I have wanted to find rest for quite some time now. Each time that I try and connect with God, I feel the distractions coming in and making me fret. It is crazy how, the moment you desire to be with God, the stronger and more intentional you feel the devil gripping your thoughts with negativity and chaos. In the midst of trying to do a work for God I find myself still distracted. While immersing my whole body into nature, far from human creation, I still feel the pull.

While on this quest for rest, God has been giving me glimpses and strategies that I have been slowly implementing. Here are a few realizations that I came across while on my journey:

1. Distractions and LIFE will always be there. Despite how far I remove myself physically from the stressors of life, those thoughts of anxiety will still come. I have to be intentional, even in the midst of physical chaos, about spending time with God. Like an oasis in my mind, I will have to find peace. Only Heaven will provide me with the perfect serenity and utopia I am longing for.

2. Becoming as a little child is no joke. While sitting in the park the other day waiting for God to speak to me, it was my first try at this, I discovered that in order to really be in the presence of God I need to go back to the basics of my childhood. As I sat there taking in the scenery and wondering what God had to show me, I was reminded of how I used to think and feel as a child. I had no concerns, worries, or fears. Even the dark never overwhelmed me much. In that moment I realized that I had to be IN the MOMENT to feel God close. I needed to forget the past and let go of the future in order to gain what I DID have. The present.

3. Treasure those moments in the quiet. Yes, we may never get the opportunity on this earth to live out in the woods or forget what it is like to hear sirens and passing cars. What we can do is notice the moments of silence as we sit on a park bench in center city and see a bird flitting about. We can smell the beautiful flowers crawling over the graffitied walls as we walk through the crowds. Our hearts can feel glad when the sun warms our chest and wraps around our arms. In our souls we can find that oasis with God.

4. Making God our priority brings great peace. This is the hardest thing to implement for me. Strange, how the very thing that gives me life, is so hard to stay focused on. While I work, travel, and cultivate my skills God should be the center of my existence. When I claim His promises and rest on His word all those things that I want to do or places that I want to go will be done with effectiveness and purpose. The words that I say will have punch and meaning. My intentions will come into existence and my nights will bring sleep. I will eat better, exercise harder, and help others more.

What are some things that you have found to be helpful in gaining peace and rest while working for God? Where do you go to spend time with God? When do you experience rest? What are some things that you struggle with while trying to make time for Him? Where do you expect to find rest?

Here are some promises to claim:

- With God, all things are possible. (Mark 10:27)
- Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you will have them. (Mark 11:24)
- God gives power to the weak. He gives strength to those who have no might. (Isaiah 40)
- Those who wait on the Lord will have renewed strength. (Isaiah 40)
- God has done with the law, weakened by me, could not do. (Romans 8)

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