I love to run. However, my running is slowly becoming a steady walk. Age and lack of time are my excuses for curtailing my pace, and I’m sad about slowing down. I miss being able to run without stopping and barely breaking a sweat. That time in my life was exhilarating.
This past weekend I experienced just how leisurely my pace had become.
What in the past would have been a pleasant Saturday morning run in a regional race was merely a casual walk. Crossing the finish line didn’t have the same exhilaration. Instead, the time with my family gave me the most joy not a participation medal.
These days, in this season, I am more content to sit and read than to lace up the shoes and run. My heart, mind and body delight in the rest that comes with slowing. So, this rest is not a bad thing. I am thankful for this season in my life.
The abating pace gives me the opportunity to remember and reflect on God’s grace and blessings through some pretty difficult years. God and I have been through a lot, and He has never failed. He is always faithful.
I remember how…
- There was that time when sin led me away and kept me in chains.
- Then the long time when I believed the enemy’s lies and knew I was unlovable.
- And, I remember when I almost quit on life.
God was there, gently tugging at my heart and always protecting me from harm.
And I recall the blessings…
- He gave me forgiveness and grace when I believed I was a lost cause and not worth loving.
- He restored a marriage of twenty plus years that almost ended too soon.
- He gave me three wonderful sons and a beautiful daughter-in-law and another daughter-in-law coming soon.
- He restored to me a family who loves and supports me.
For more than two decades my favorite verse has been Jeremiah 29:11.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare
and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
With joy, I tell you that I have witnessed the plans He had for me. I gladly testify that God has provided for my welfare and He pulled me from the miry pit of sin. Now I rest in the hope of a future glory.
Have you experienced or lived through things that on this side you recognize how God worked? Do you know that God has great plans for you, plans that include peace and rest?
Jesus invites us to rest.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in
heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my
burden is light.”
There are three things required for this rest.
Come. We don’t have to do anything except believe. We don’t have to get everything all together and in order, in fact, the more the mess, the more we see how God can work. Lay down the burden you are trying to carry. Nothing you have is too heavy for God.
Take. Taking the yoke of Jesus is an act of total surrender, admitting that we can’t do anything of lasting worth. The yoke of Jesus is well-fitting and not heavy. It comes with peace.
Learn. The first two steps are choices. This step is ongoing and forever life-changing. After we lay down our burdens and surrender our hearts, we can now learn more about Him, to trust God. His way is easy, and the burden you pick up is light.
At first, I was frustrated with the changes in my pace. I want to run like the old days.
There was a time when I moved at the speed of sound like a lot moms. I would rush through laundry, meals, and homework while I also worked full time and completed an undergraduate degree. In my spare time, (Ha!) I would run and running gave me strength.
Slowing down, resting and being comfortable in this season required further trust in the plans God has for me. Because He is always faithful, God has shown me how He saves me, forgives me and provides for me. Now it’s time for me to rest in the assurance that He will continue to do the same.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things
Resting in Jesus, we are promised the things that we hope for, the things we know are true but not seen yet.
Are your burdens heavy? Are you tired of carrying pain, guilt, and worst of all shame? You don’t have to. My dear friend, come to Jesus and lay down your burdens. Take on His grace and peace that will give you rest. Learn that He promises you hope and a future.
Some of you may still be moving at the speed of sound trying to make it through turmoil and crisis and life. Some of you may be like me, slowing down to enjoy the rest. Either way, I pray you will rest for a moment in the assurance of God’s love and remember how He has blessed and provided and protected you even in the midst of turmoil. Rest in the assurance that He loves you and sees you.
Father, praise you that you never leave us alone. Even when we are in the middle of a mess we have made, You are there waiting for us to lay down our burdens and take on your peace and rest. Give us eyes to see how you are working and providing for us. Father, thank you for your forgiveness, grace and mercy. Amen.