The Solution to Restlessness, Part One

Gwen Smith Blog, Devotions 20 Comments

 

My friend Cammie is a children’s ministry director at a local church. One day, as she was preparing for the lesson she would teach on Sunday morning, she had an idea for a fun illustration that would require a few props. She asked her four-year-old daughter to help.

“Hey, Taylor! Can you please bring me a few of the Fisher Price people from your dollhouse?”

This reply came from her preschooler who was sitting across the room…

“No, Mom. They just want to chill out. They’ve had a long day.”

So funny… yet so not funny.

My word, people! When our children’s toys need a break, you know that it’s time for you and me to hit the pause button.

And, truth be told, I live smack dab in the messy middle of this tension.

The Old Testament indicates that David lived in the messy middle of it too. The Bible says that the Lord made David take a break. Yes. He made him do it. Look: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-3, emphasis mine)

I love the way Psalm 23 verse 3 is paraphrased in The Message, “True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.”

Yes. Please.

This is the desire of my heart. That I can catch my breath and be sent in the right direction by a loving God who knows what is best.

So, I – you – we have to be intentional. Life comes at us fast. If we are not careful, the dizzy pace at which we live can unwittingly become our weakness and demise.

I know you know this. I do too and yet somehow it still trips us up.

So what’s a woman to do?

Let’s keep it real here; we have obligations. We have families, jobs, friends, communities, and churches that need us. And though this will look different for each of us in the many seasons of life, our people depend on us a ton. They should. God tells us to put our faith into action (James 2). And we must. We must mobilize the hope we have in Christ. Serve. Show love. Feed the hungry. Minister to the widows and orphans. Yes. We must be women of action.

The Bible gives a clear and compelling teaching, however, about this life-pace topic that establishes our first call to action must be focused on the Lord himself! This get-with-Jesus business is the key to us experiencing the maximum abundance that God has in store for every believer.

What it all boils down to is this: God’s BEST requires REST.

So simple…. Yet so complicated.

It was Augustine who wrote, “God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.”

Let me take this one step further by breaking down what the Word of God shows us about this very thing. When we rest in the presence of God, He restores our souls. Rest is the central ingredient in the restoration we all desperately need. Just look at the first four letters of the word!

Today and in part two of this devotion we are going to break down R.E.S.T. as an acronym and take a walk through Scripture to see just how God’s best for you is fueled by this discipline.

R.E.S.T. {Reflect. Engage. Surrender. Trust}

It all begins with reflection. There are two parts to this: reflecting ON God and allowing the Spirit of God to work within us so that we become better reflections OF God.

REFLECT on GOD:

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago I will meditate on all Your works and consider all your mighty deeds.” (Psalm 77:11-12)

“I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to You; my soul thirsts for You like a parched land.” (Psalm 143:5-6)

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)

REFLECT GOD:

“Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect Your principles!” (Psalm 119:5, NLT)

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is Spirit.”
(2 Corinthians 3:18)

Oh, that we would be women of meaningful reflection.

Today let this truth sink in deep: when you reflect on God, you better reflect God.

 

Dear Lord,
You are awesome and strong and gracious and kind.
Your goodness knows no end. When I think about the ways
You’ve brought hope, healing, and joy to my life
I am overwhelmed with gratitude.
Please help me to know you more – and to show you more –
as I seek to find my rest in You.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

Grab your journal or a piece of paper and list:

… 3 works of God’s creation that you are grateful for

… 3 ways God has provided for you in the past

… 3 principles that God has called you to reflect in spite of your current challenges
Now, share your lists with someone! {Or at least the non-private part of your lists!} Post them on Facebook, tweet them out one at a time, or CLICK HERE to visit my blog and list them as a comment. Share the hope. Shine His love. Be His beauty!

 

Happy MAY, y’all! 🙂

PERSONAL UPDATE: So, today marks 6 weeks since our house was struck by lightning and caught fire during a storm. We were displaced and are staying in a rental property that’s about 20 minutes from our house. Construction has not yet begun for the rebuild, but the permits have been submitted and we are awaiting their approval. Overall we are doing well. We’ve seen and felt the love of our community, church and loved ones in beautiful and tangible ways and my family is grateful for every prayer. If you would continue to pray, we’d appreciate it greatly. Specifically, please pray for my husband Brad and I to be divinely led with all the wisdom and discernment needed to navigate the insurance, restoration, and construction issues and decisions we are dealing with and facing.

I love you and love doing life with you!

Warmest Blessings in Christ,

GWEN

PSSST!
I’VE GOT A FREE BONUS FOR YOU!

A portion of today’s post is an excerpt from my latest book, I Want It ALL.

Are you struggling with Restlessness?  I Want It All, can help lead you to the rest God has for you. It will also help you to dust off a few heart dreams, think bigger thoughts of God, laugh and smile a lot, search your soul, and even cry a little … because each page lovingly directs you to the personal grace and truth of JESUS. (CLICK HERE to get a FREE Downloadable “7 Day I WANT IT ALL” Devotional Ebook.)

Comments 20

  1. God is so awesome! 3 things in His creation i
    Am thankful for, birds,(all animals,really), sunrise and sunset, tiny things most people don’t notice, tiny frogs, earthworms, little crawfish, honey bees…3 things He has blessed me with- physical healing, spiritual healing,comfort,and forgivness, 3 things He wants me to show of Him- friendlyness, truth, kindness..loved this study!

  2. 3 Works Gods Creations:

    1. Our/my children
    2. sunshine
    3. rainbows-sounds cliché but God will send them to reflect in certain places in my home and I always see them and thank him.

    3 Ways God Has Provided

    Only 3? I could list hundreds
    1. Home-when I became a single mom ended up in a 3 bedroom home for the price of an apartment
    2. Job-work in awesome company who allows time to leave if I have too for kids
    3. child care
    4. transportation -car fully paid off and now fully repaired (provision upon provision)
    5. ALL HIS PROVISION-food, finances, love, friendships, church, so much

    3 Reflections
    1. seeking his face and not just his hand
    2. recognizing his true power when faced with conflicts and trials
    3. believing that he is TRULY for ME and not out to harm me.

    Thank you Jesus

    1. God does bless us in so many ways. And yes i love His rainbows! It is like He makes them special every time, and we can thank Him for His promises!!

  3. 3 works of God’s creation
    Creating me in His own image
    Creating the heaven and the eart and making us to dominant all He created
    Creating the wind and the air in which we live and have our being

    3 things God has provided for me
    Spiritual living
    Financial living
    Physical living

    3 Principles to reflect
    God is not man that He will lie nor son of man that He fail us as His children
    God is love Himself
    God is merciful and gracious

    1. God is such a creator, and loves His creation! Isn’t it neat He created us in His image! He gives us a desire to know Him and have a personal relationship with Him, the creator!

  4. Works of God’s Creation

    Air
    Water
    Land

    Ways God had Provided
    Motivation to do better spiritually
    Food when I didn’t have any to eat
    Money when I didn’t have anything at all for my myself and my children

    Principles to Reflect on
    Keep my mind stayed on Him
    Meditation of the Word daily
    Consistency in praying

  5. Thank you so much for inviting me to join the girls group its a new begining to god being closer to my heart and getting to share with you all my sisters the great love of God.

  6. Thank you for speaking to my soul; in deed we just need time to reflect about the greatness of God in our life. some times we fail to realize the purpose of our life by not having a moment with God. Yes, we might sometimes chasing the air which will never catch at all. Christian families are at great danger of breaking into pieces simple for not having an ample time to learn and reflect together.
    Thank you so much;
    God bless you my sister.

  7. I am grateful God created the creatures of the earth.
    I am grateful for God’s creation of man and woman and reproduction, so we are blessed with children.
    I am grateful for Gods creation of all the plants for food to sustain us every day.

  8. His Works I am grateful for:
    1)Family, friends and all the beautiful people he has surrounded me with,
    2) Nature. Sometimes i go outside and the beauty is just amazing. The colors , the sounds, the smells. Only a God who cares about me could have done that
    3) Me, for i am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am grateful that he crafted me and called me to be his own 🙂

    His provisions
    I can’t even begin too count!. I am most grateful for my fees and for provision. My country went through a recession as i traveled for futher studies and the value of the Naira fell so much. My fees were more that triple what it was when i left. But i thank God because it is gradually improving, and I am almost at the end and I believe that he will complete what he has started both for me and my friends.

    God bless you and keep encouraging you for this devotional. God will show up for you and your family and settle all that concerns you even before you have it figured out!

    1. God bless you, I pray! God is good and provides for us always what we need and most times a little extra! Keep trusting! He will not leave us like orphans… God keep you safe, and have safe journeys!

  9. 3 principles God has called me to reflect upon in spite of my current challenges:

    1. Love – “Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails.”

    1 Corinthians 13:7-8

    2. Faith & trust – “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen.”

    Hebrews 11:1

    3. Patience & hope – “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

    Romans 8:25,28

  10. A – Works: The beautiful water outside my window, my family, and my wonderful students
    B – Provision: Home when we lost ours to Foreclosure, completing masters degree while working 2 jobs, and enough money to live despite not having a full time job and no benefits (clinical trial starts this week).
    C – Principles: My value and worth does not come from my job or disease, but from Christ’s opinion of me, faith and hope when my illness puts me flat on my back for weeks (visualizing Christ died on the cross for me), and forgive, love unconditionally, and be grateful for what I do have (running water, family, roof, food on table).

  11. 3 works of God’s creation that you are grateful for:
    His people!
    His beautiful earth
    His creatures great and small

    3 ways God has provided for you in the past:
    Oh, let me count the ways! Love, friendship, fellowship, shelter
    A job teaching
    A future pension

    3 principles that God has called you to reflect in spite of your current challenges:
    My salvation and love for Jesus
    To have a servant’s heart
    Love others

  12. … 3 works of God’s creation that you are grateful for
    I am grateful for the morning sun that always reminds me of God greatness
    I am grateful for clear sky when I commute in the early morning so I can see clearly
    I am grateful for the crisp air so I can breath in God abundance in my life.

    … 3 ways God has provided for you in the past
    God has seen me through losing everything after losing my job to layoffs
    God has brought my family through my mom having cancer and a 90th birthday last month.
    God has made my marriage and my relationship with my husband even stronger

    … 3 principles that God has called you to reflect in spite of your current challenges

    Love of one’s self and not feeling worthy despite my accomplishments
    Honoring my mother and finding ways to show that daily
    Finding time to reflect and not making it the 2nd thing I do but making it the first thing I do…

  13. 3 works of God’s creation for which I am grateful:
    1. Birds and their beautiful song of praise
    2. This Earth, with its beauty
    3. People who are such a blessing in my life

    3 ways God has provided for me in the past:
    1. My faith family, when I felt so alone
    2. My husband, when I felt I could not find the “right” one
    3. A son, and now grandchildren, when I thought I would have none

    3 principles to reflect on:
    1. Faith as a gift from God
    2. Putting God first
    3. Waiting on the Lord and while waiting, doing His Will in the daily acts of living

  14. Three works I am grateful for. The views of our mountains. They have a way of calming me. Dirt that has the ability to grow beautiful things like flowers. Third the love of family and friends who show us support and hold us up when needed.

    He had provided me with time for healing, flowers as signs from heaven and a loving family and friends who love me.

    He has provided me with my job, my two miracle boys and a nice house to live in.

  15. I enjoy your devotions every day of the week. The challenges we have faced in the past three years with my husband, daughter, and my health at times have been overwhelming but with help of God he has provided strength, spiritual stability, and financial stability at all times. God through medicine and His touch healed my husband’s heart problem. He went to the doctor and they look ing to take him off of the medicine He is on. They have taken Him off of some medicine feeling he was over medicated and didn’t need it. My daughter is getting better, she still can’t work but is doing things that she couldn’t do a month ago. I am doing fine and going through the radiation treatments I needed and so far not any side effects. Planning to go back to work in June. God is good. In this where a few years ago my husband would not been able to work his full time job at retail store plus He has full time pastor at rural church and then took care of me and my daughter was in the hospital. God gave him the strength for all.I praise the Lord for how He has brought us through and shown that He will never forsake or leave us in any circumstances. He is there even if I feel He is not because I still had the peace of God.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *