What started out as a lovely day ended badly.
Someone I love hurt me deeply. The wound is not a new one. It’s a deep laceration that constantly re-opens and stings. The foul stench of bitterness quickly infects the raw flesh if I don’t disinfect and dress the hurt.
Bloody and bruised, I craved rest. I collapsed into my favorite new chair by the window and wasted several hours just watching squirrels run along the fence and jump into our palm tree. I sat mesmerized as a four-legged explorer wagged his plump tail and edged up the tree trunk toward Nirvana.
Mr. Squirrel lifted the roof to the tiny green feeder that housed the edible reward, crawled completely inside, and emerged moments later carrying a yummy nugget. I smiled as he stood up on two hind legs and examined his prize.
Dig in, dude, I thought. Witnessing his victory reinvigorated my spirit. The throbbing hurt of that morning was replaced by a curious joy in creation. I thanked God for the blue sky, the placid lake, and my furry friend who reminded me that persistence pays off.
In Rhythms of Rest, author Shelly Miller encourages her readers to “wait for a nibble–a small glimpse that God has something for me, even though I can’t always see it” —
When the mind is focused entirely on a problem, we lose sight of God’s place within it. We pit ourselves against all the details as if the problem is ours to conquer immediately. Anxious and tense, we can wrongly assume that unless we achieve total victory, we will lose the battle and defeat will be our legacy.
Sabbath provides space between you and your problem, enabling you to see from God’s perspective, often with surprising results, like a word breaking through your questions about life and awakening you to something more important. God is always near, but we often miss His powerful presence in the midst of the pain and hardship.
Your weary soul needs rest. Carving out time to sit at His feet and breathe in His grace will renew your passion and purpose.
4 Ways to Create Space
- Invite God to a tea party. Get up a little early and savor the sweet conversation in the quiet while you sip a cup of tea. (Yes, coffee is fine if you are not a tea drinker. Check out this for inspiration: Coffee with God.)
- Take a walk with your Creator. Explore the outdoors. Ask God to give you fresh eyes to see the beauty in your surroundings.
- Sing karaoke for a one-person audience: Get your praise on, sister! Combat negative thinking by cultivating a heart of gratitude.
- Make God your pen pal: Write God a love letter. Pour out your heart to the One who mends the brokenhearted.
Create space to connect with your Creator, and He will re-calibrate your weary soul.
Something to think about…
I’m sharing “Create Space” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.
Thought-Provoking Thursday Spotlight: Shelly Miller
Are you tired of being tired?
Do you struggle with giving yourself permission to rest?
Feel guilty when you aren’t being productive?
Secretly dream about a sick day to lay at home and read all day?
Yeah, me too.
If busy has become your recurring answer when people ask, “How are you?” maybe it is time to pause and make rest realistic instead of miraculous.
In Rhythms of Rest, I dispel legalistic ideas about Sabbath, showing you how times of rest — whether for an hour, a morning, or a whole day — can change perspective about the way you approach life. With encouraging stories from people in different stages of life, you will glean simple ways to be intentional about making times of rest doable.
In order to extend compassion to others, we must first be compassionate to ourselves. When was the last time you chose rest for yourself?
You are unique and the way you rest is unique to you too. Sabbath is not about resting perfectly but resting in the One who is perfect.
Want to read more from Shelly? Head on over to Amazon to purchase Rhythms of Rest: Finding the Spirit of Sabbath in a Busy World.
Shelly Miller is a veteran ministry leader and sought-after mentor on making rest a rhythm of life. She leads the Sabbath Society, an online community of people who want to make rest a priority, and her writing has been featured in publications internationally.
Her first book, Rhythms of Rest: Finding the Spirit of Sabbath in a Busy World, released with Bethany House Publishers in the fall of 2016 with a second book launching in 2017 with Lion Hudson. Shelly has appeared multiple times on Premier Christian Radio with the Thought For the Day and speaks at venues around the U.S. and UK.
Shelly is married to H, an Anglican minister who resources church planting in the UK. Together they have two children, Murielle and Harrison. Having lived across the United States, she moved to London in 2015 to start a new adventure in the land of her ancestors.
Connect with Shelly at ShellyMillerWriter.com
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