Weekly Withdrawal

img_0550“Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place to get some rest.”  Mark 6:31b NIV

Such sweet words of Jesus for a stressful heart.  Words dripping with refreshment, enriched with peace, rescuing a busy man or woman from the world wind chaos of survival, even in the commercialized world today.  Although it’s good for us each day to have some quiet time with the Lord, it is really good to have time each week to withdraw from the busy life and find solace with the Savior.  It is what the Day of Rest (Sabbath) is designed for.

In this season of Advent, a season of anticipation and preparation for the coming Messiah, it is easy to find ourselves distracted, stressed, overworked and just plain exhausted.  Trying to be at so many places with so many different people; trying to get the right gifts for family and friends; trying to eat a few less cookies than yesterday . . . ah, the madness.

Yet, as we focus on Jesus, hear His words of love and invitation, we can let go of things that are temporary and reengage with those of eternity.  Relationships with people, relationship with God . . . these will last long after the parties are ended, the presents are opened and the cookies are gone.

PRAYERLord Jesus, lead me into Your presence.  Lead me beside still waters.  Refresh my soul.  As the burdens of life await, restore me with Your gifts of love, patience, wisdom and strength so I can live productively and passionately for You and those You call me to love and serve.  Amen.

*The photo is of Maggie at one of her favorite places in Kerrville, TX at the Guadalupe River.

One thought on “Weekly Withdrawal

  1. Pastor Doria!   Welcome back!
      Your photo reminds me of a once favorite place on the Nueces River at the base of Chalk Bluff.  As a young family we spent many summers in Bracketville staying at and exploring the 10,000 acres of the Postel Ranch (at that time a hunting lease owned by Mark’s employer) and visiting Chalk Bluff.  There was no phone and no tv! Accommodations were not even “motel-esque” as we had much cleaning to do on each arrival,  but the old schoolhouse turned hunter’s camp was big with indoor plumbing and electricity AND served to regroup us, refresh us and point us back toward better priorities – God was there and ALL-in with us from the honey bees that nested in the walls to the sighting of the smallest blooming cactus!   It was truly a type of Sabbath I think and definitely a healthy retreat for all 5 of us. It truly bore a beauty all its own. 
      Until about a month ago, when she sold it;  another sort of Sabbath – place was my sister’s tiny beach house in Surfside, Tx with a covered deck facing the surf. I have stood in that surf, out of earshot and to the top of my lungs sung memorized liturgy et.al. and both cried and cried out to God for a revealing of HIS plan. It was “good LORD to be here”.
      My newest place of solace is in St John’s prayer garden.  I treasure that place!  I can stay for hours and have!  I can read. I can write. I can hear God all around.  I think there is a whole Bible study waiting to be taught from it by someone; maybe you 😉
      Jesus’s words in verse 31 and the fact that the apostles took his advice as evidenced in verse 32 bear witness to the value he intended in quiet time with him.  It seems that most times we are pushed into this need for solace by trials. Humanly speaking, I guess it is hard to know what you might need until you need it. 
      “Come unto me, all who are weary and I will give you rest” (from Matthew 11:28 – 30) sounds pretty good to me right now for many reasons, but the JOY of remembering this Advent season has not escaped me 🙂
      Sorry for so many words, but I think it is something YOU said 🙂 !

    Thank you for writing today! 

    Sondra

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