December 27, 2013
A Quiet Place to Rest
"Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'" Mark 6:31 (NIV)
"I want honey in my tea! And a lemon slice too! Oh, and can I use Great-Grandma's teacup, pretty please? I'll be careful," my then five-year-old daughter sweetly asked as we were enjoying our afternoon mother-daughter ritual.
Each day while her two baby brothers napped, we pulled out china teacups and saucers from my collection and sipped herbal tea while I read a book out loud to her.
This afternoon she was asking permission to use an heirloom piece that had been passed down through four generations in my mother's family. While I knew my little girl would be careful with the antique pink and white china cradled in her little hands, something else made me deny her request. I tried explaining it to her.
"Sweetheart, I know you'll be careful, but we can't have hot tea in that cup. It has cracks. See?"
I showed her a few tiny, hairline fractures on the side near the handle. It wasn't cracked all the way through and could actually still hold water without leaking. However, if hot liquid were to be poured into it, the crack would give way, causing the petite cup to shatter. (Been there. Broke that!)
There was just no way for the fractured piece to withstand the stress of a steaming beverage.
Our emotional lives are much the same. When we don’t allow time to rest and regroup from the stresses of life, we allow cracks in our spirit that make us emotionally and spiritually fragile. We keep going at break-neck speeds, rarely slowing down long enough to be refreshed.
Mark 6:31 highlights the fact that even Jesus Himself found it important to get away for a while, to slow down and cease activity. The Bible records this event, "Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest'" (NIV).
Jesus urged His disciples to get to a quiet place. In doing so they would find rest. Being alone and quiet would restore their weary spirits.
For many of us, the stretch between Thanksgiving to New Years Day is a whirlwind of activity. In our fast-paced society, we rarely are intentional to create a quiet place and spend time resting. As a result, stress chisels away, creating tiny cracks that although barely visible, could cause us to shatter under the go-go-go pressures of everyday life, much less the holidays.
Let's purpose to take time to slow down, get away, and rest. To find solitude in a hushed place alone with our Savior, even if only for an hour.
If we make time to answer Jesus' call to go away with Him to a quiet place, we can crack-proof our spirits, making them strong and rendering us ready to handle life. A few quiet moments spent with Him can help make us strong enough to fulfill God’s assignments for us this season.
Dear Lord, help me intentionally carve out time to reconnect with You in a quiet spot. I know You are waiting. I want to seek Your face and find true rest. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
For "5 Steps to Quiet" visit Karen Ehman's blog.
Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace in Your Chaotic World by Tracie Miles.
Would you like to bring a life-changing message to the women of your church? Click here to find out more about considering Karen as your next event or keynote speaker.
Reflect and Respond:
Remember a time when you got away for rest and quiet. What did it do for you emotionally?
Why don't you get alone or seek a quiet place more often? List some things, people, or activities that prevent you from doing so. Now, make plans to seek a quiet time soon. Write it on your calendar and keep your appointment with God.
Matthew 7:25, "The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn't collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. (HCSB)
© 2013 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.
Originally published Friday, 27 December 2013.