He restores my soul

Beside the creek in the cool of the evening

I have joy.

For many years I could not say that. The best I could do was say, “I’ll be happy when…

when this course is over,

when I have a driver’s license,

when I am married,

when this baby is born,

when tax season is over,

when the swelling goes down,

when I get my Dad settled in his new home,

when the bills are paid,

when the house is clean and organized,

when my kids are doing well,

when their bills are paid…”

There was always a reason to postpone enjoying the moment, something that still needed improvement, some potential disappointment that needed guarding against.

I used to think that when I managed to finish everything on the job list I could reward myself with feeling a little joy.

I rarely finished the to-do list -and never finished the worry list. That list I took to bed with me.

Jesus said his burden was light.

Mine wasn’t.

I lumbered from burn-out to burn-out and laboured under thick layers of guilt.

In a dream, the Lord showed me a heavy suitcase. It was full of things that needed prayer. He said sometimes I needed to set it down. It would wear me out if I carried it all the time. Sometimes I needed to leave it with him, walk away and enjoy the scenery.

In a way, that is why I took up photography and painting. They make me pay attention and become more aware of beauty. The evening  light does not wait until the paperwork is done and the hedge is clipped and all the hungry people in the world are fed and all the sick are healed.

Sometimes on this journey we need to leave the heavy stuff and the “whys” in his care and sit by the stream in the cool of the evening and allow our souls to be restored. Right here, mid-crisis, in the hidden grottos of the valley, with all of the threats and fears and opposition looking on like jealous, ravenous beasts, God prepares a place of rest and safety and refreshing for us.

I am learning (slowly) to set the suitcase down, step into the joyful freshness of God’s presence and allow him to restore my soul -in that infinitely tiny and infinitely spacious moment called “now.” That’s where the battle is won.

Thank you, Lord. You are good.

20 thoughts on “He restores my soul

  1. Good morning. You have identified a most serious condition which all of us wrestle with to one degree or another. There seems to be so much to be done, that we convince ourselves that we cannever arrive at a place of satisfaction or fulfilment. The place of rest is always on the other side of an endless parade of obligations.

    In recent years, I’ve been learning to be content in the Lord Jesus; regardless of what’s not completed or what issues are bearing down. And while intercession for others is still a primary function in prayer, there are also times when I just abide in the presence of the Lord without an agenda. Just being in the presence of the Lord Jesus under a starry sky as a stillness blankets the landscape.

    Thanks for taking time to write this. Blessinga in Jesus name.

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    1. “…while intercession for others is still a primary function in prayer, there are also times when I just abide in the presence of the Lord without an agenda.” I’m still learning this, timbob. I’m so greateful the God is patient with me.

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      1. Hanging out with God … He calls me “friend” that is, I think, where the battle is done …. being in His Presence with no agenda and then going out with His fragrance and releasing Him …

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  2. So true, often we mouth the words that Jesus is our burden bearer but live carrying the burdens. He promises to carry our load. Love your photography and message!

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    1. For so long I had seen Psalm 23 so much in the context of comforting old people who were dying that I failed to recognize it as a warring Psalm. We fight unlove in ourselves and in the world from a position of rest and joy. How paradoxical is that?

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  3. WELCOME! Thank you for subscribing to follow my blog. I hope you are encouraged, inspired and enjoy the photos I take concerning life and events as I journey through retirement years. I look forward to sharing post with you in the future.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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  4. This theme of not allowing for rest until we’ve done all God’s work is a conversation I had with another sister in Christ, yesterday. The Lord wanted to remind me of this again today; thank you for being his ‘mouth’ for strenthening His inspirations to me! Resting in the Good Shepherd’s loving arms today. Asking our Lord for deep, soothing comfort and rest for yyou and yours today. HUGS

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    1. Rest is not an easy concept for those of us who tend to want to tell God how to do things. As my husband says, “God is a good listener, but He doesn’t take advice well.”
      Thank you for your prayers. They are prized.

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