Invitation to Rest (by Karla Duerson)

It started like the sunrise–warm, gentle, faithful, quiet and full of beauty. You know how God works: He strings along a message like a strand of pearls–unmistakable and full of grace and glory.

I think it began with rereading The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry in which John Mark Cromer encourages the reader to slow to the pace of Jesus. He poses a question, “What has happened to the personal quiet time?” He wonders if the QT was abandoned as a legalistic relic of the late 1990s. “Let’s bring it back.” He concludes. I felt a nudge in my heart like the brightening horizon.

I confided in my sister that I needed to bring back the quiet time. I knew it would be a helpful way to start the day. I heard God’s invitation. I was not guilty or obligated. I wanted to join Him in the beginning, but I didn’t. A whole week went by before having a panic attack.

Gavin was gone. I was trying to help Neva have a playdate. I was so tired. Almost out of nowhere, I was in the bathroom, breathing deeply, closing my eyes, and begging God to be okay. I texted two friends who IMMEDIATELY responded with wisdom and prayers.

One of those friends had been intentionally taking time alone for the past week as a necessity to live her calling. She had even just recorded herself singing the most beautiful hymn about being with Jesus, and shared it with me. (I know the other has never forsaken her quiet time). In addition, I recalled a Shane and Shane song yet another friend had mentioned that morning. I pulled it up on YouTube and let the words wash over me. The panic faded. My prayers were answered. It was the second pearl.

The next morning, I sat in the chair by the front window and greeted the God who had invited me. He stilled my heart, calmed my fears, and gave me hope that I would be walking into the day with Him. Each morning of the next week, I heard the whisper, “Come to Me…” and I accepted.

Then, the most beautiful affirmation of this connection occurred through a phone call with one who sees Jesus. Through her, God communicated that He had more. Tears poured as I admitted that I had tried to take myself away from the Source–to make do with what I thought should be enough for me. I was parched, and was accepting a few drops of water when He was willing to keep pouring–not to drown me, but to quench my deepest thirst.

So, I’m bringing back the quiet time and am experiencing the God of the universe who has made Himself small enough to sit with a woman in her living room, and revealed Himself through Words that can be held in a human hand, read with the human mind, and received by the human heart.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11)

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
9They are a garland to grace your head
and a chain to adorn your neck.
(Proverbs 1:8-9)

Shane and Shane – Psalm 90

Ruthless Elimination of Hurry on Amazon

 

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